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The News-Sentinel | August 29, 2017

Purdue basketball falls to Lithuania, picks up silver medal

  Purdue University's men's basketball team's trip to Taipei ended just short of the gold.

Purdue University's men's basketball team's trip to Taipei ended short of the gold.

The Boilermakers, playing as USA Team, lost to Lithuania 85-74 on Tuesday in the World University Games gold medal game.

Team USA was unbeaten in pool play, and then beat Israel, in overtime, and Serbia to advance to the gold medal round.

USA Team led by two points at halftime, but Lithuania came out attacking in the second half, and took the lead in the first five minutes of the third quarter. Lithuania went up 54-50 with 3:29 left in the third quarter, prompting a timeout by USA Team. Lithuania extended the lead to seven points before USA Team closed the gap. Lithuania led 61-56 after three quarters.

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After Lithuania extended its lead to 11 points in the fourth quarter, USA Team made a late run. Carsen Edwards' coast-to-coast layup cut the Lithuania lead to 76-69 with 2:47 left. Ryan Cline cut it to 80-74 with two free throws with 24 seconds left. USA Team could get no closer.

TUSA Team started the gold medal game cold from the field, missing six of its first seven shots. But by midway through the first half, a three-point shot by Vincent Edwards put the Americans up and seemed to restore the team's confidence. A put-back basket by Isaac Haas gave USA Team a 22-19 lead with 7:19 left in the second quarter.

Back-to-back three-pointers by Vincent Edwards and Dakota Mathias gave USA Team a 36-29 lead with 2:30 left in the half, its largest lead. But Lithuania closed the margin to 38-36 at halftime and was the more aggressive second-half team.

Notre Dame's Martinas Geben was part of the Lithuania team.

In recent years, the United States has sent single college teams, with an occasional additional player or two, to represent the country in the World University Games. This year's team was composed entirely of Purdue players and was coached by Matt Painter and the Purdue staff.

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