KAZAN, Russia - (WDRB/USA Basketball) After a first-half fight, the 2013 USA Basketball Men's World University Games Team (3-0) outscored Sweden (0-3) 27-17 in the third quarter to improve a 10-point halftime lead to a comfortable 20-point margin on its way to an eventual 83-65 win on Thursday night at Basket Hall 1 in Kazan, Russia.
Indiana's Yogi Ferrell led the Americans with 20 points, including 4-of-7 shooting from the 3-point arc.
The second quarter saw the USA put up the first four points before the teams traded baskets until 6:10, when Czerapowicz once again gave his side a lead with a 3-pointer, 27-26. This time, U of L's Luke Hancock answered for the USA, and his two points were the start of the 11-0 spurt that saw the red, white and blue finish the first half ahead 37-27.
"Our offense was a little sluggish," Ferrell said of the first half. "We were trying to make too many ‘home runs' as coach says, shoot too many threes and we weren't really hitting but we kept shooting. I felt we finished out the half pretty well with a 10-point lead. We kind of got it inside a little more, and then we kind of opened it up in the second half."
Hoosier Will Sheehey scored all seven of his points in the fourth quarter as the U.S. lead reached as high as 27 points, 83-56. Sweden, however, tallied the last nine points of the game to outscore the USA 21-19 in the period and bring the score to its 83-65 final.
"Our defensive pressure and energy was off the charts," Sheehey said of the second half. "First half, we were a little sluggish on defense. We gave them open shots. Second half, we were closing on defense and got early buckets."
The USA finished with a 47-34 rebounding advantage and scored 46 of its points in the paint, compared to Sweden's 26. While the USA's shooting improved dramatically in the second half, Sweden's did not. For the game, Sweden shot 38.5 percent (25-65 FGs) from the field and just 28.0 percent from 3-point (7-25 3-pt FGs).
The USA will continue preliminary round play against Australia (2-1) at 6:30 p.m. (times listed are local; Kazan, Russia, is +8 hours from EDT) on July 11, before taking on Canada (3-0) at 1 p.m. on July 12.