Creighton’s Doug McDermott and the USA Basketball World University Games team celebrated July 4th with a 96-60 exhibition win over the Russian professional club UNICS.
McDermott finished with 13 points on 5 of 11 shooting, including 3 of 7 from 3-point range. The senior All-American also had five rebounds in 22 minutes of action.
Leading 23-21 after the first quarter, the U.S. was tied at 34-all before it closed the last four minutes of the first half with a 22-6 run to take control of the game and a 56-40 lead at halftime.
“Out of the gate, with the fatigue factor that we’ve had in the travel and the limited practices we’ve had, I was very pleased with our level of intensity,” coach Bob McKillop (Davidson College) said of his team, which had arrived in Russia less than 48 hours before the game. “The way we’ve picked up the offense, the ball was a spotlight and it wasn’t shining on any one person, it was distributed. When the spotlight shines on everybody, we’ll be very good.”
Luke Hancock of Louisville had 14 points to lead six U.S. players who reached in double figures as all 12 U.S. players scored. Tyler Haws of BYU added 12. Tallying 11 points apiece were: Treveon Graham of VCU, Will Sheehey of Indiana, and Aaron White of Iowa, who shot a perfect 3-of-3 from the field and 4-of-4 from the free throw line.
“I thought we played well,” McDermott said. “We sort of had a slow start, but once we got clicking and got stops, it led us on to good things on offense. I thought it was a good opening game.”
After a shoot around and an unofficial scrimmage against the Russia World University Games Team on July 5, the U.S. will have one more practice on July 6 before it opens preliminary round play in the 2013 World University Games. The USA first meets United Arab Emirates on July 7.
Following the preliminary round, the first and second-placed teams in each of the four pools advance to the medal quarterfinals on July 14 to compete for first through eighth places; while the remaining teams will play out for ninth to 24th places. The semifinals will be played on July 15, and the finals will be contested on July 16.