USA men win opener in record fashion

KAZAN, Russia - The 2013 USA Basketball Men's World University Games Team (1-0) opened its play in the 2013 World University Games with a record-setting 140-46 win over United Arab Emirates (0-1) that saw three players record double-doubles and a total of nine U.S. players reach double-digit scoring on Sunday evening at Basket Hall 1 in Kazan, Russia.

Led by a USA Men's World University Games single-game record 13 assists from Yogi Ferrell (Indiana/Indianapolis, Ind.), who also finished with 15 points and four steals, the Americans established three U.S. single-game team records in the lopsided win, including 36 assists, 70 rebounds and 39 attempted 3-pointers.

Jumping to a 14-3 lead in the first 3:37, the USA forced 22 turnovers overall and had control throughout the game.


"One of the great joys of coaching is playing 40 minutes, and these guys gave us that joy tonight because we played consistently from start to finish," said USA head coach Bob McKillop (Davidson College). "We started fast, we finished strong."


Sean Kilpatrick (Cincinnati/Yonkers, N.Y.) led the USA with 18 points; Aaron White (Iowa/Strongsville, Ohio) had 16 points; while Doug McDermott (Creighton/Ames, Iowa) and Will Sheehey (Indiana/Stuart, Fla.) added 15 apiece; Spencer Dinwiddie (Colorado/Woodland Hills, Calif.) contributed 11 points to go with his eight assists; and Treveon Graham (VCU/Temple Hills, Md.) scored 13 points and grabbed nine rebounds.


Tallying double-doubles along with Ferrell were Cory Jefferson (Baylor/ Killeen, Texas) with 14 points and 11 boards and Alex Kirk (New Mexico/Los Alamos, N.M.) with 10 points and 12 rebounds.


"Everyone on this team can score, and that's an advantage," Kilpatrick said. "We have the best players in the USA as of right now, and it was good to come down here with these guys and play this game. Everyone on this team plays the game the right way. When you've got guys that share the ball this well, then it's very special."


The USA took an 18-point, 24-6 lead in the first quarter after a Graham put-back at 4:23. From there, however, United Arab Emirates (UAE) managed for a few minutes to nearly keep pace with the USA to close the quarter 10-11, and the scoreboard read 35-16 at the end of the first period.


After a bucket from UAE to start the second stanza, a score from Jefferson at 9:02 was the beginning of the USA's largest run of the game, a 15-0 spurt that included four points apiece from Dinwiddie and White, and the USA led 50-18 with a White free throw at 6:39. The red, white and blue limited UAE to just two field goals and one made free throw for the remainder of the first half, while it put up 19 more points to lead 69-23 at halftime.


The USA continued to push the pace, and the third quarter featured a crowd-pleasing display of dunks, including a behind-the-back assist from Luke Hancock (Louisville/ Roanoke, Va.) to Graham, while White recorded three of the USA's final four scores of the period with two alley-oop dunks. The last one at 20.5 broke the triple-digit mark for the USA, which led 100-34 heading into the final quarter.


"We know what the goal is, and we want gold," Jefferson said. "It wasn't just playing a team, it was playing a game of basketball to get our team ready and get in the right step. We played well."


In its highest-scoring period of the game, the USA put up 40 points in the last 10 minutes, including 12 and 11 points, respectively from Indiana teammates Ferrell and Sheehey. UAE managed just 12 points in the quarter, and the USA cruised in for the 140-46 win.


UAE saw Saleh Zuwayed Khalifa finish with 14 points for his side.


Also today in the USA's Group D, Finland (1-0) beat Chile (0-1) 71-52 and Lithuania (1-0) topped Norway (0-1) 94-71. In Group A, Estonia (1-0) edged Germany (0-1) 65-59, Russia (1-0) easily downed Oman (0-1) 117-24 and South Korea (1-0) survived Ukraine (0-1) 100-98. In Group B, Mexico (1-0) won against Japan (0-1) 83-71, Romania (1-0) beat Philippines (0-1) 106-58 and Serbia (1-0) topped Mongolia (0-1) 110-56. Finally, Group C saw Brazil (1-0) record a 107-65 win over China (0-1), Australia (1-0) beat Czech Republic (0-1) 85-57 and Canada (1-0) defeat Sweden (0-1) 84-69.


The USA will continue preliminary round play against Czech Republic at 1 p.m. (times listed are local; Kazan, Russia, is +8 hours from EDT) on July 8; followed by Sweden at 9 p.m. on July 10; Australia at 6:30 p.m. on July 11; and Canada at 1 p.m. on July 12.


Following the preliminary round, the first and second-placed teams in each of the four pools advance to the medal quarterfinals on July 14 to compete for first through eighth places; while the remaining teams will play out for ninth to 24th places. The semifinals will be played on July 15, and the finals will be contested on July 16.


Assisting McKillop on the USA sideline are John Beilein of the University of Michigan and Frank Martin of the University of South Carolina.


The USA is looking for its first gold medal at the World University Games men's basketball competition since 2005, and currently holds a 139-9 all-time record in World University Games play.

The USA women's team will open pool play Monday against Mali. Nebraska senior Jordan Hooper of Alliance is a member of the USA team.


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