PurdUeSA has generally played well so far in the World University Games, but this morning may have been its most complete effort. We absolutely demolished a decent Romanian team 120-68 thanks to a long-range shooting exhibition. Purdue hit 19 of 41 threes and led 32-13 after a quarter, 68-24 at halftime, and 98-47 after three quarters. Once again, Purdue didn’t need to score a single point in the second half.
What’s more encouraging is that turnovers, which have been an issue so far, were down. Purdue committed only 12 of them, but forced 29 of them. A total of 20 turnovers came via steal as Purdue ramped up its defense.
Individually Purdue put six players in double figures for the second time in four games. Sasha Stefanovic led us with 17 points. Ryan Cline had 15 points and 3 assists on 5 of 7 shooting from long range. Vince Edwards, Dakota Mathias, and Carsen Edwards each had 14 points. The sixth Boiler in double figures was walk-on Grady Eifert, who had an excellent game of 10 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 steals.
Coach Painter tried to balance out the minutes here since this was the second of three games in three days. Nojel Eastern played the most at only 21 minutes out of 40. That balance came across in the box score too. Everyone except Aaron Wheeler had an assists, but no one had more than three. Purdue still finished with 25 assists on 45 made field goals.
In terms of the overall tournament Pool A was thrown into flux as Mexico upset Serbia 89-83 this morning. Serbia now must face Chinese Taipei tomorrow and the possibility of a 4-way tie atop that group at 3-2 exists if Taipei beats South Korea today (that game is going on right now) and Serbia tomorrow, Latvia beats South Korea tomorrow, and if Mexico defeats Hungary.
In pool B Germany defeated Finland 71-64 to all but clinch a spot in the next round. The Germans are 4-0, but still face a tough Canadian team tomorrow. If Canada beats Germany and Finland does the expected and beats Hong Kong tomorrow that group will have a 3-way tie at 4-1. Bear in mind, I have no idea what the multi-team tiebreakers are.
In our own group we are all but through to the Championship round. We sit atop it at 4-0, with Argentina and Estonia both at 2-1 with games currently being played. Argentina is currently playing the UAE and will very likely win. Estonia is currently playing the Czech Republic. A loss by either today clinches advancement, and a loss by Estonia clinches the group before the U.S. even played tomorrow. The U.S. can get into a 3-way tie for the group if Argentina beats the UAE and Romania tomorrow and if Estonia beats the Czechs today and us tomorrow. Again, I have no idea who advances in that scenario, but if it is point differential we have outscored opponents by 174 points while the Argentines are second in the group at a +38, so they would need at least a 100 point blowout of the UAE today.
Finally, in Group D you have a complete mess. Lithuania beat Ukraine 76-71 this morning. Coupled with Israel’s 93-49 win over Mozambique there is a 3-way tie atop the group at 3-1 with Israel, Lithuania, and Ukraine. Australia is also lurking just behind them at 2-2 after beating Russia 89-71. Tomorrow’s Israel-Ukraine game is basically a winner-take-all game now, as the winner definitely advances, but the loser is probably out because Lithuania holds the tiebreaker over both at 3-2. The Aussies are still lurking, however and will be 3-2 since they still have to play a horrid Mozambique who has been outscored by 244 points over 4 games.