Russia Ends Team USA's Gold Medal Quest
July 10, 2009
BELGRADE, Serbia -- Team USA's gold medal hopes were dashed on Friday after Russia erased a 10-point fourth quarter deficit and handed the Americans a 69-68 loss in the semifinals of the medal rounds at the World University Games in Belgrade, Serbia. Husky forward Quincy Pondexter had a quiet evening for the Americans, scoring just three points in 17 minutes.
The Americans outscored their Russian counterparts in each of the first three periods to hold a 59-49 lead heading into the fourth quarter, but could not maintain their momentum. The Americans became cold from the offensive end but still held a six-point advantage with 2:52 left in the game.
From there, the Russians mounted a furious comeback, capped by a three pointer from Nikita Shabalkin with 23.3 seconds to go. That put the Russians ahead for the first time since the opening minutes of the game.
The Americans called time out and missed on three opportunities on the offensive end to end the game on the short end of the stick.
The game was very even in the box score for both teams, but the biggest difference came at the free throw line where the Americans were 20-of-31, while the Russians converted 23 of their 28 attempts.
The U.S. (5-1) still has a chance at a medal and will face Israel (6-1) in Saturday's Bronze Medal game at 9:00 a.m. PT. Host Serbia (5-1) will face Russia (6-1) in the gold medal game.
Information for this story was compiled from USABasketball.com.