University of Kansas Athletics
GWANGJU, Korea – Behind 18 points from Julian DeBose and 16 from Wayne Selden, Jr., the USA men’s basketball team completed Pool D undefeated at the 2015 World University Games with a 96-57 win against Switzerland Thursday at Dongkang College Gymnasium in Gwangju, Korea.
The contest was the final tune up for the USA (5-0) before the medal round quarterfinals on Saturday, July 11 at noon (July 10, 10 p.m. in Kansas) against the winner of the Lithuania-Australia game that is being played July 9. The quarterfinal will be televised on ESPNU.
The early 10 a.m. local start did not faze the Americans. Like the Chile contest on July 7, the USA jumped out to a 12-3 lead on Switzerland. USA had eight different players reach the scoring column in the quarter and built a 23-8 lead on a jumper by Lagerald Vick with 3:15 to play in the period. USA led 25-14 after one period. Vick ended the game with 11 points and led all rebounders with seven.
“Switzerland is not as talented as Brazil or Serbia or Turkey, but we did shoot the ball well today,” head coach Bill Self said of the USA squad which shot 59 percent from the field, including 10-for-17 from three-point range against the Swiss. “We’ve shot the ball well just two games over here and that’s today – which was great – and versus Chile. Against our more competitive teams, we haven’t shot it very well, so I’m looking forward to seeing if we can carry this over and shoot the ball well on Saturday.”
Switzerland went on a 7-2 run to open the second quarter and cut the lead to 27-22, but the USA dominated the final seven minutes of the period and built an 18-point lead at 48-30 on a DeBose jumper in the lane. DeBose followed that with a three-pointer as time expired to give the Americans a 51-33 lead at intermission.
A track meet occurred in the third period as USA ran away with the game fast break after fast break and dunk after dunk. Switzerland scored the first basket after intermission, but then the USA team went on an 18-0 run to extend lead to 69-35 with 4:51 remaining the in the period. Included were three monster dunks, two alley-oop style, from Selden. Forward Hunter Mickelson also continued his solid play in the World University Games, which included a steal at midcourt capped off with an alley-opp dunk from Selden to complete the play during the 18-0 run. DeBose once again made a field goal to end the quarter and give USA an 81-46 lead.
“We had the ball moving, we were getting rebounds and we got stops,” DeBose said. “It was an all-around good game.”
USA cruised through the fourth quarter as all but two Americans reached the scoring column. Once again, the USA dominated the boards, outrebounding Switzerland 42-27.
Forward Perry Ellis scored all 11 of his points in the first half. Forward Jamari Traylor had eight points on 3-of-4 shooting, while forward Carlton Bragg, Jr. scored nine for the game. Guard Nic Moore had a team-best six assists to go along with six points and guard Frank Mason III scored eight points and had five assists in the victory.
“Everybody played with passion,” Bragg said. “It was pretty fun out here and we’re just ready for the medal round.”
The USA team will play the winner of the Lithuania-Australia contest in the medal round quarterfinals on Saturday, July 11, at noon local, which is 10 p.m., July 10, in Kansas. The game will be televised on ESPNU and seen on the Watch ESPN app.