Team USA Holds Off Serbia At World University Games
July 7, 2009
BELGRADE, Serbia -- Team USA held off host Serbia, 68-66, on Tuesday in front of a raucous crowd to improve to 4-0 at the World University Games. Husky forward Quincy Pondexter (Fresno, Calif./San Joaquin Memorial) played a team-high 25 minutes and scored five points, grabbed five rebounds and had an assist for the Americans.
The game, which saw the U.S. take its highest lead with six points and Serbia own no more than a five-point advantage, was close throughout. The USA trailed after the first quarter, 18-15, but pulled ahead with one second to go before the midway buzzer after Talor Battle drove to the hoop to put the Americans up 37-36.
The third quarter saw both teams score 20 points each, and with 10 minutes remaining in the game, the U.S. was up 57-56.
Serbia, which took advantage of a deafening crowd, put the pressure on defensively and forced the United States to a string of eight missed shots to open the final stanza. After missing its first two shots of the half and coughing up the ball twice, Serbia went ahead 58-57 at 7:42 and two minutes later held a 62-57 advantage.
However, the USA never stopped fighting and at 4:40 Corey Fisher drove to the basket for the red, white and blue's first points in the final period. That bucket fueled a spurt that saw Robbie Hummel pull up for a jumper and Battle nail a three as the U.S. went ahead again, 64-62, with less than three minutes to go.
The game remained tight until the end, but Team USA never relinquished the lead again. They struggled from line down the stretch, but Fisher hit one of two free throws with 5.3 seconds left to ice the game for the American squad.
The USA will face off against Bulgaria (3-1) in the July 9 medal quarterfinals with the winner advancing to the July 10 semifinals. The gold medal will be contested on July 11.
Information from this story was gathered from USABasketball.com.
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