World University Games: Purdue basketball defeats Romania, advances to medal rounds
TAIPEI - The USA pieced together its most-complete performance of the World University Games, running past Romania 120-62 to improve to 4-0 in pool play and advance to the medal rounds.
The Americans dominated on both ends of the floor, shooting 54.2 percent from the floor, making 19 3-pointers, holding Romania to 38.9 percent shooting and outrebounding the Romanians 45-27. USA also committed just 12 turnovers to Romania's 29.
"I thought this was our best performance since we've been here," head coach Matt Painter said. "I thought we really shot the ball well and really moved the ball well. We were taking what the defense gave us. We had strong balance inside and out, and then I thought we scored off our defense. We stayed with the gameplan and played good team basketball for 40 minutes."
After a slow start, USA jumped out to a 13-2 lead just five minutes into the game and led 32-13 after the first quarter.
120— Purdue Basketball (@BoilerBall) August 24, 2017
After struggling in the second quarter of games, the Americans poured it on against Romania, outscoring the Romanians by a 36-11 margin for a 68-24 halftime lead. USA shot 12-of-15 from the field in the second quarter to surge to its largest halftime lead of the games. USA led 98-47 after three quarters.
Freshman Sasha Stefanovic continued his strong play in Taipei with a game-high 17 points, making 6-of-12 field goals and 3-of-8 from long distance. Ryan Cline added 15 points on five 3-pointers, while Carsen Edwards, Vincent Edwards and Dakota Mathias all had 14 points for USA.
Mathias and Isaac Haas each had eight rebounds, while five players had three assists each. Grady Eifert had 10 points, six rebounds and four steals off the bench.
Purdue, representing the USA in the World University Games, will close out pool play against Estonia on Friday, Aug. 25, beginning at 12:30 a.m. ET.