KAZAN, Russia — Creighton’s Doug McDermott scored a game-high 23 points to lead the U.S. men’s basketball team to a 96-53 win over the Czech Republic on Monday at the World University Games.
After McDermott scored the game’s first two points, the U.S. never trailed. The senior finished the first quarter with six points and a team-high five rebounds as the Americans bolted to a 20-9 lead.
Team USA started the second quarter with a 10-2 run to build a 41-22 halftime lead. McDermott finished the first half with eight points and seven rebounds, just trailing Baylor’s Cory Jefferson (10 points, 10 rebounds).
McDermott got going early in the third quarter, converting a three-point play, draining two free throws, sinking back-to-back 3-pointers and scoring a layup off a steal to go on a personal 13-2 run that spanned 2:15.
McDermott had one basket on a reverse up-and-under layup early in the final quarter before resting for the game’s final six minutes. He finished with 10 rebounds and shot 8 of 15 from the field. His 23 points were his personal high as a member of Team USA, surpassing the 19 he had in 2011 with the under-19 national team.
Jefferson finished with 10 points and 15 rebounds, while Louisville’s Luke Hancock added 15 points for Team USA.
“I’m very pleased,” said Team USA coach Bob McKillop. “I see the development of the players trusting the system, the coaches understanding the talents of the players and the evolving teamwork that is a result of that.”
Also in Pool C, Australia beat Sweden 70-53 and Canada topped the United Arab Emirates 137-43.
The U.S. will continue preliminary-round play against Sweden at noon Wednesday.