USA Men's Basketball Bounces The Czech Republic 87-51

Aug. 17, 2005

Izmir, Turkey - Stanford's Matt Haryasz (Page, Ariz.) was one of five players in double figures with 14 points as the United States men's basketball team started slowly and then roared from behind to score an 87-51 win over the Czech Republic at the Summer World University Games.

With the win, the USA improved to 5-0 at the Games and will now play Lithuania in the quarterfinal round on Thursday, Aug. 18 at 10:30 a.m. at the Ataturk Sports Salon.

The Czech Republic, 2-2, was led by center Ales Chan with 16 points. Behind nine early points by Chan, the Czech's opened the game with a 17-9 run.

After a timeout, USA's halfcourt trapping defense started to play havoc with the Czech's, as the Americans ended the first quarter and started the second on an 18-0 run. The USA led 27-19 after a basket by Craig Smith (Los Angeles, Calif.) with 6:26 to play in the second quarter.

'They started the game much more aggressive than us, they came out hard and hit some tough shots,' said USA head coach Jay Wright. 'I wanted our guys to settle down and know that it was a long game, we had a lot of work to do yet. We have experienced guys who know how to handle those situations.'

Forcing 17 Czech turnovers, the USA led 48-27 at halftime as Vinent Grier led the way with 12 points, while Randy Foye and Shelden Williams added 10 apiece. The USA ended the half on a 37-10 run.

Williams had six points in the third quarter as the USA maintained its advantage, leading 71-39 at the end of the period.

The USA led by as many as 40 points, 85-45 after a basket by Eric Hicks (Greensboro, N.C.) with 3:10 to play.

The Americans have now won 52 of the last 53 times it has played at the World University Games and appear ready as play nears the medal rounds.

'We are going to take it one game at a time, we are just trying to get better with each game,' Wright said. 'Every game you play from here on out will be tough, no matter who we play.'

courtesy of USA Basketball

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