USA Purdue Makes it to the World University Games Semifinals

Purdue, the representative of the US in the basketball World University Games secured a spot in the semifinals by beating Israel 111-107. The score was tight at the Taipei Arena on Sunday, but the Americans moved one step closer to the final victory.

They will play against Serbia which beat Finland 85-84 in the quarter finals. They were on the verge of going home but in the last minutes, the Serbians triumphed over the Finns.

Tough game

Head coach Matt Painter admits this was a tough game his boys had to play at the Taipei Arena. His exact words were “an unbelievable back and forth game.” Painter congratulated Israel on their defense and athletic big players who were great at attacking his men. Nonetheless, Purdue did great with their defensive stops and free throws toward the end of the game.

Key moments

Sophomore Carsen Edwards shot 8 3-pointers while senior P.J. Thompson managed to get only 5. In attempt to shift the focus toward the whole team, Edwards says it was not just his merit and thanks his mates for getting the ball in places that made it possible for him to score

After the first quarter, the score was 23-19 amounting to 49-45 at halftime.  Israel maintained its advantage in the second half by scoring 4 points right after the break. Still, the US didn’t back down and moved on to scoring 11 points without giving a break to the Israelis.

Still, they tried to recover with a 6-0 spurt getting the score to 59-56. At that point, the Israelis were still leading the game and this would not change by the end of the 3rd quarter in spite of the Americans’ attempt to even out the score with a 15-7 spurt. At that point, the board shows 71 points for Israel and 66 points for the US.

Toward the end of the last quarter, the US was 3 points ahead of Israel 97-94 and there were just 3 seconds left for Israel to execute 2 free throws. They tied the score to 97 with only 0.9 seconds left thus sending the game into overtime.

With 40 seconds left of overtime, the Americans and Israeli were tied at 107-107 leaving Mathias to get the lead for the US with 2 successful free throws thus icing the score to 111-107 and propelling the Americans to the semi finals.

One thing is undebatable though, Israel has definitely made it hard for the US to move on to the next stage. This made Carsen Edwards become more aggressive in the second half unleashing his talent and energy on the field. The man had 36 points on 11-22 from the field, 4 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 assists and a key blocked shot toward the end of the game.  Vincent Edwards made 21 points with 9 rebounds and 6 assists while Thompson added 22 points with 6 rebounds.

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