Nichols, Ruoff Conclude Jones Cup Play

WVU's Alex Ruoff and Darris Nichols finished play in the Jones Cup as their Athletes In Action U.S. team dropped a 91-74 decision to Iran.

The U.S. completed the tournament with a 5-4 record and finished tied for third place. Jordan took home the championship trophy with a tournament record of 7-2.

Nichols scored three points and had three assists and four rebounds in 22 minutes of play, while Ruoff had six points, six assists, two rebounds and a block in 20 minutes. He also suffered four turnovers.

The tournament, which consisted of nine games in nine days, obviously took its toll on a U.S. team that had just a week to prepare and get in game condition for the tournament. The U.S. was outscored by 14 points in the fourth quarter and made just nine of its 29 three-pooint attempts.

For a second consecutive night, the accuracy of its opponent's 3-point shooting was the difference. Iran made 14-of-28 (50 percent) of its attempts.

The U.S. won the battle of the boards, 41-39, but was unable to overcome a sub par shooting night, making just 39 percent of its field goal attempts. Iran connected on almost 46 percent of its shots.

The U.S. jumped out to a 14-point lead before Iran countered with an 11-0 spurt to pull within three, 42-39. The U.S. lead at halftime, 46-41.

Iran opened the second half with a 10-2 run to take the lead away from the U.S. less than three minutes into the half. Zach Gibson (Grand Blanc, Mich./Michigan) scored the opening basket of the half before Iran scored 10 unanswered.

After three consecutive threes from the Iranians, the U.S. faced a seven-point deficit which was cut to three at the end of the quarter.

Iran continued to use its inside-outside balance to extend its lead at the start of the fourth, out-scoring the U.S. 10-2 in the first two minutes for an 11-point lead. Iran raised its lead to 13 with 2:54 remaining on its third 3 of the quarter.

AIA cut the lead to seven, but didn't get any closer as the veteran Iranians answered every U.S. threat.

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