TAIPEI — USA jumped out to a 26-14 lead after the first quarter, then held off every surge to defeat Argentina 89-76 in the World University Games opening-game in Taipei Arena.
Argentina would tie the game at 26 midway through the second quarter after a 15-0 run, but USA Team would respond by outscoring the Argentinians 44-22 over the next 15 minutes for a 70-48 lead after three quarters. Argentina cut the lead to 76-69, but that was as close as it got as the USA Team would never trail in winning its pool-play opener.
89— Purdue Basketball (@BoilerBall) August 20, 2017
down, to go.
“I thought it was a hard-fought game and that Argentina made some really good runs and never gave up after we would get some bigger leads. It was a game of runs and was really impressed by how hard they played when they got down,” Purdue head coach Matt Painter said. “This was a good adjustment for us to see what we will be up against here, and how hard teams are going to play against us.
“We had more turnovers than we typically do and we have to do a better job taking care of the ball,” Painter added. “There were stretches that we were really, really good and stretches that we were pretty bad. It was good to get that first win against a really good team, but there’s room for improvement obviously.”
Sophomore Carsen Edwards led USA with 17 points, five steals, four rebounds and three assists in a strong all-around floor game. Dakota Mathias added 16 points with four 3-pointers, Vincent Edwards had 14 points, nine rebounds and three assists and P.J. Thompson had 13 points and four assists. Isaac Haas would add 11 points and eight rebounds on 5-of-7 shooting and Jacquil Taylor continued his impressive run with five points, eight rebounds and three assists.
Erik Thomas, the 2017 Southland Conference Player of the Year from New Orleans, scored 17 points to lead Argentina.
USA Team shot 31-of-75 (.413) from the field, 9-of-32 (.281) from 3-point range and 18-of-24 (.750) from the free throw line.
Purdue, which is representing Team USA at the World University Games, will face United Arab Emirates on Monday, Aug. 21, beginning at 3 a.m. ET. There will be no stream, but live stats will be available.