Tulane’s USA team falls to Brazil in World University Games semifinals, 95-82
CHENGDU, China – Team USA was unable to overcome an early deficit against a solid shooting performance by Brazil falling 95-82 in the semifinals of the World University Games on Friday.
The United States, represented in the tournament by Tulane’s men’s basketball program, mounted a 20-9 in the third quarter to pull the game within two, but Brazil managed to answer holding off the comeback attempt.
With the loss, the United States will face the loser of the other semifinal game between Argentina and Czech Republic in the Bronze Medal Game on Sunday. The U.S. defeated the Czech Republic in pool play 76-72 but has not faced Argentina which is 4-0 entering the semifinals.
Kolby King led all scorers in the contest with 21 points with 18 of those scored in the second half. He also pulled down five rebounds and swiped a game-high three steals. Kevin Cross had his best scoring performance of the World University Games pouring in 18 points with 14 coming in the second half. The next top scorers for Team USA were Jaylen Forbes with 14 and Sion James with 11. Both Forbes and James led the team on the glass with seven boards each. Tre’ Williams rounded out the players in double figures for USA with 10 points and four rebounds.
The contest went back and forth early in the opening frame with the United States and Brazil exchanging leads seven times until the USA built its largest lead of the day at 17-13 with 4:07 on the clock. Brazil closed the quarter on a 13-3 run to claim the momentum and put the USA down 20-26 at the end of the first.
In the second quarter the deficit extended to double figures for the United States as Brazil outscored Team USA 24-17. Cross and James combined for 12 of the USA’s 17 points as the team hit the locker room trailing 37-50.
King and Cross sparked a rally by Team USA in the third cutting the deficit to 57-59 with 4:32 on the clock after a 20-9 scoring run. The duo combined for 19 points in the frame including three three-pointers for King. However, Brazil closed the third quarter with an 11-4 run putting the United States down 61-70 entering the fourth.
A barrage of threes from Brazil’s Adyel Felipe Pereira Borges in the final frame stemmed any chance for a comeback by Team USA. The United States ultimately fell 82-95 in the semifinals.
Tulane, which is representing Team USA at the World University Games, will play for the bronze medal on Sunday against the loser of the other semifinal game between Argentina and the Czech Republic. The Bronze Medal Game is set for 3 p.m. local time, 2 a.m. CT and will be streamed on the FISU app and FISU.tv.
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