KAZAN, Russia — The U.S. men’s basketball team took a 10-point halftime lead and stretched it to 20 in the third quarter Wednesday en route to an 83-65 win over Sweden at the World University Games.
Creighton’s Doug McDermott, coming off a game-high 23 points, scored eight points and grabbed four rebounds in 24 minutes of action. He was 3 of 6 from the field, missing his only 3-point attempt, and 2 for 2 from the free-throw line. Aaron White of Iowa had three rebounds and two assists in 16 minutes.
After trailing 27-26 at 4:24 in the second quarter, the U.S. (3-0) strung together 11 unanswered points to lead 37-27 at halftime.
The U.S. improved its shooting from 39.4 percent from the field to 56.3 percent in the third quarter to pull away.
Indiana’s Yogi Ferrell led the Americans with 20 points, hitting 4 of 7 3-pointers. VCU’s Treveon Graham added 14 points and seven rebounds, and Baylor’s Cory Jefferson grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds.
“First of all, (U.S. assistant coach) Frank Martin did an outstanding job in terms of preparing our team,” U.S. coach Bob McKillop said. “We knew they were going to hold the ball. We knew they were going to work the clock. We knew they were going to tempt us to get a little too aggressive offensively and then become almost a half-court team, allowing them to run their sets.
“In the second half, we became a little bit more aggressive in terms of forcing them to run their sets a certain way. We got some stops, and some guys made terrific plays in the open court, but Frank gave us a great scouting report.”
Chris Czerapowicz, who plays for McKillop at Davidson, led the way for Sweden (0-3) with 12 points.
Ferrell said the U.S. offense was “a little sluggish” in the first half.
“We were trying to make too many ‘home runs,’ as coach says, shoot too many 3s,” he said, “and we weren’t really hitting but we kept shooting.
“I felt we finished out the half pretty well with a 10-point lead.”