USA outlasts Czech Republic to finish pool play undefeated
CHENGDU, China – Team USA rallied from behind in the second half to take down the Czech Republic 76-72 in its final game in pool play on Monday. Timely threes and a clutch fadeaway bucket from Kevin Cross helped the United States outscore the Czech Republic 26-21 in the final frame.
With the victory Team USA secured an undefeated record in pool play and the top spot from Pool C entering bracket competition on Wednesday.
Three players finished with double figures in scoring including Jaylen Forbes who led the team with 17 points. Forbes knocked down three three-pointers and pulled down seven boards in the contest. Collin Holloway posted 14 points along with seven rebounds. Rounding out the top performers for Team USA was Kolby King with 12 points and four steals to match Sion James.
Team USA started strong in the first quarter using an 11-0 run to jump out to a 15-5 advantage. An eight-point scoring effort by Holloway helped the USA close the opening frame with a 20-9 lead.
In the second quarter, the Czech Republic mounted a response by outscoring the USA 21-12 to make it a two-point game, 32-30, at the half.
Both teams traded buckets to begin the second half until the Czech Republic scored nine unanswered points to put Team USA behind 37-44. The United States answered down the stretch of the third cutting the deficit back to one point, 50-51, heading into the final frame.
A three-pointer from Forbes broke a 55-55 tie early in the fourth quarter and sparked USA to build its lead out to seven points at 70-63 with 3:44 to play. The Czech Republic fought back with a 9-1 run to reclaim the lead, but Cross put the United States back on top for good 73-72 with 48 seconds remaining. James and Forbes put the game away from the free throw line to secure the 76-72 victory for Team USA.
Tulane, which is representing Team USA at the World University Games, will face the Republic of Korea in the quarterfinals of bracket play on Wednesday, August 2. The game is set to tipoff at 7:30 p.m. local time, 6:30 a.m. CT, and will be streamed on the FISU app and FISU.tv.
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