SHENZHEN, China—University of Pittsburgh senior guard Ashton Gibbs (Scotch Plains, N.J./Seton Hall Prep) scored a game-high 20 points to lead the USA Men's Team to a 108-67 win in its opening game of the 2011 World University Games Saturday at the Universiade Main Gym. Gibbs and Team USA plays its second contest on Sunday vs. Hungary.
Gibbs, who started the contest at guard, converted seven of his 12 total field goal attempts, hit 2-3 3-pointers, finished with two steals and dished out a team-high three assists. He was one of five USA players who reached double figures. Minnesota's Trevor Mbakwe recorded a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds, Missouri's Marcus Denmon added 11 points and collected three steals, UC Santa Barbara's Orlando Johnson contributed 10 points and three assists and Michigan State's Draymond Green finished with 10 points.
Mexico led 24-22 at the end of the first quarter, but an 8-0 USA run gave the Americans a 43-37 halftime advantage. The USA came out of the intermission firing on all cylinders as points from Gibbs, Johnson and Kentucky's Darius Miller pushed the lead to 49-37 in the first two minutes of the third period, and the red, white and blue never let up. By the time Denmon finished with quarter with consecutive steals converted into layups at 40 seconds and 20 seconds, nine U.S. players had combined to outscore Mexico 31-16 for a 21-point lead, 74-53.
"Once we started going strong and beating the zone, in the second half, we added to the lead and were able to win the game," Gibbs said.