Sunday, August 21, 2011

World University Games 2011 -- USA Defeats Romania, Plays Germany for 5th Place

USA 94-73 Romania
A change in the starting five brought a change of fortunes at Shenzhen University Sunday as Team USA posted a 21 point win over fellow quarter final loser Team Romania, and advanced to a showdown with Team Germany for fifth place at the World University Games. Coach Matt Painter turned to Scoop Jardine and Marcus Denmon to man the back court. In the front court Painter decided to go with a three forward set that included Notre Dame's Tim Abromaitis, Draymond Green and JayMychal Green. The change paid dividends as the Americans jumped out to a 12-2 edge in the game's first five minutes. Though the Romanians staged a mini-rally to cut the USA lead to eight by the end of the quarter (20-12), the Americans never looked back, stretching the lead to 18, 47-29, by intermission. The Romanians conceded only three more points to the Americans through the second half, one in the third quarter to yield a 74-55 score, and two more in the fourth quarter, bringing the final tally to 94-73. The score by quarters...


Romanian forward Titus Nicoara paced all scorers with 9-18 (2-4, 7-14) from the court and 2-2 from the line. He recorded a double-double with 10 rebounds (2-8-10) to go with his 22 points. Power forward Vlad Sorin Moldoveanu also logged a double-double, scoring 13 and grabbing 11 rebounds, while guard Rares Andrei Mandache chipped in 18 points. The American had four double digit scorers, paced by Draymond Green's 16 points on 7-10 (2-3, 5-7) shooting from the field. John Jenkins (12 points), JayMychal Green (11 points) and Tim Abromaitis (11 points) also posted more than 10 points. Tevor Mbakwe, J. Green and Abromaitis posted team-high eight rebounds apiece.

The possession-based breakdown suggests things are returning to "normal" for Team USA...

Team USA81.41.1652.019.746.225.329.71.12
Team Romania0.9047.125.835.917.634.50.99

The numbers fall back into the pattern Team USA set in games #1 through #5 -- pace in the low 80s, shooting efficiency in the mid-high 50's, offensive rebounding rate in the high 30's/low 40's, etc. The Romanians offered little defensive resistence, allowing the Americans to post an offensive efficiency above 1.10 points per possesion (ppp), with shooting leading the way, as the PPWS, back above 1.10 where it was for tournament games #1 through #5. Defensively, the Americans held Team Romania to a 0.90 ppp, largely because the Romanians did not shoot efficiently (see their eFG%, 47.1), taking 75% of their FGAs as two point attempts, the Romanians converted at a 45.1% rate. Combining high turnover rates (in Romania's case they lost 25.8% of their possessions, over 1-in-4) which limit scoring opportunities with a poor shot conversion rate doomed the Romanians.

Team USA will face Team Germany, which lost to Serbia, 55-77, in the quarter final round and beat (Group D #2 seed) Finland, 84-63, Sunday, for fifth place in the tournament. The game will be played at 7:00 am (Eastern DST) in Shenzhen University's Luohu Gym on Monday (local day/time). The Americans and Germans share a common opponent -- Finland. The Germans beat the Finns by 21 on Sunday (local day); the Americans beat the Finns by 60 (no, not a typo), 124-64, in their fourth tournament game.

Further Reading
USA Basketball posted a game recap on their website, along with a box score and post game quotes.

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