Shelvin Mack hit a tough pull up and Gordon Haywood made 4-of-4 free throws and grabbed a crucial offensive rebound in the decisive fourth quarter.
The 2009 USA Men’s World University Games Team (5-1) saw its gold medal hopes slip away in the waning minutes after Russia (6-1) outscored the U.S. 20-9 in the final stanza for the 69-68 win on Friday night in Belgrade, Serbia.
The U.S. still has a chance at a medal, however, and will face Israel (6-1) in Saturday’s bronze medal game (12:00 p.m. EDT). Host Serbia (5-1) advanced to the gold medal game against Russia after thumping Israel 82-56.
Corey Fisher (Villanova / Bronx, N.Y.) and Robbie Hummel (Purdue / Valparaiso, Ind.) scored 14 points apiece, while Deon Thompson (North Carolina / Torrance, Calif.) finished the night with a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds.
“That game was hard-fought,” said USA and University of Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan. “Defensively, look at what we were making them shoot. Of course, they were playing hard too, and look what they did to us. Finding easy baskets in that game was very, very difficult. You have a bad shooting night one game, and then you are on the sideline for the championship game. Now we have to play for the bronze, which is a great opportunity for these guys to bounce back and leave on a winning note.”
(Courtesy FIBA and USA Basketball)