Team USA fell just short in the gold medal game of the World University Games yesterday.
After going undefeated in pool play and winning the first two games of the medal round, Team USA fell to Lithuania 74-85.
The game went back and forth throughout the first three quarters, with Lithuania holding a two point lead at the end of the first and the USA with a two point lead at the half. Lithuania would retake the lead in the second half and put enough distance down the stretch to seal the deal in the fourth quarter.
Unfortunately for Team USA, their hot hand beyond the arc faded away as they only hit 5 of their 19 three pointers. The biggest issue for the USA, though, was their struggles on the glass. Besides being out rebounded 44-32, they gave up 17 offensive boards to Lithuania, allowing 20 second chance points.
“We gave up way too many second-chances and we didn’t shoot the ball great,” said head coach Matt Painter. “You can still win games when you don’t shoot the ball well, but we didn’t do the things we needed to do to win a game like that. You have to tip your hat to Lithuania. They just played really hard.”
Leading the way in scoring for Team USA once again was Carsen Edwards, who added 23 points. Also reaching double digits were Isaac Haas (17) and Vincent Edwards (16). Besides Dakota, who scored nine points, no one for the USA scored more than five points.
While Team USA could only bring home the silver, the experience should prove beneficial for Purdue heading forward. Unlike a typical exhibition trip with several games, Purdue was able to play eight games during the World University Games, as well as two exhibition games against Canada and a scrimmage against Norway. The games provided some valuable minutes to the teams incoming freshmen, as well as now healthy forward Jacquil Taylor.
“It was such a blessing to have this opportunity to represent our country,” Carsen Edwards said. “It will only help us as we get ready for the season.”