Rally For Bronze

Behind 13 points from West Virginia's Da'Sean Butler, Team USA rallied from a disappointing loss to post a 91-80 win over Israel in the bronze medal contest of the World University Games.

The U.S. has now medaled in every World University Games in which it has competed, and owns a record 13 gold medals, three silver medals and three bronze medals.

Butler was 3-4 from the field, including 2-3 from three-point range, and made five of his six free throw attempts. He added two rebounds and one steal in 18 minutes of play.

"Our guys showed a lot of grit," said USA and University of Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan. "There were a couple pushes that Israel made, and we answered. They cut our lead to four, they got it to two and then four again, and they stayed around. Then we opened it up. Our guys kept fighting, too. Israel wanted a medal as bad as we did."

The U.S. struck first with a Hayward jumper 14 seconds into the game and went up 9-2 on another Hayward bucket at 7:43. However, Israel woke up and the first quarter featured four lead changes, two knotted scores and ended with the U.S. up 24-22.

The third quarter was fairly even as neither team managed to put together a run and at the quarter break, the USA's lead was 70-64. Israel opened the final stanza with a 3-pointer and the lead was down to three, 70-67. Jarvis Varnado (Mississippi State / Brownsville, Tenn.), who just missed a double-double with nine points and nine boards, and added four blocked shots, scored six points in a 10-1 run to give his side some breathing room and at 6:06 the U.S. was up 80-68. Israel made one final try to capture the bronze and got within nine points, 84-75, at 3:26. The USA was determined to return home with a medal and held off its opponents for the eventual 91-79 victory.

The Americans won the battle on the glass, 43-37, and both teams were even from the field, shooting 46.3 percent as both hit for 31-of-67 field goals. The USA earned 32 points from the line and 36 in the paint, while Israel knocked down 15 free throws and had 54 points in the paint.


BlueGoldNews Top Stories