July 16, 2013
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Team USA finished in ninth place at the World University Games after a 97-70 win over Finland on Tuesday in Kazan, Russia. University of Cincinnati senior guard Sean Kilpatrick scored seven points to go with two rebounds, two steals and two assists in 21 minutes.
The ninth-place finish was the best USA could hope for after failing to qualify for the medal round with a 3-2 record in Pool C.
The Americans missed the medal round after dropping consecutive contests to Australia (93-84 on July 11) and Canada (94-85 on July 12). However, USA responded with three consecutive wins in the consolation bracket to claim ninth place, topping Norway (91-51 on Sunday) and Germany (92-70 on Monday) before Tuesday’s victory over Finland.
Five USA players scored in double figures against Finland led by Indiana’s William Sheehey who netted a game-high 20 points on 9-of-12 shooting. Michigan State’s Adreian Payne scored 13 points while Iowa’s Aaron White had a double-double with 12 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Indiana’s Yogi Ferrell added 11 points with a trio of three-pointers and BYU’s Tyler Haws had 10 points and five rebounds.
USA (6-2) shot 53 percent from the field (28 of 53) and forced Finland (5-3) into 18 turnovers. The U.S. used a 27-6 outburst in the second period to pull away for the win.
“Defensive pressure really bothered them. We knew that,” Kilpatrick said. “They pressure a lot as well, but we were able to get backdoor (cuts) on them. Everybody, honestly, was hitting shots today and that was something that helped us a lot.”
The win was Team USA’s third in a row to end the competition.
“Like coach said, we know it didn't really pan out how we wanted it to, but it was a good thing to get these last three games in and go home on a good note,” Kilpatrick said.
Kilpatrick finishes the eight-game World University Games competition averaging 7.5 points and 2.0 rebounds in 17.6 minutes.
“I learned if you slow down and have patience with your offense everything will really open up for you,” Kilpatrick said. “Everything isn't always going to fall for you behind the arc but you can also find ways to either get fouled or even get your teammates involved. That's what is really most important is making sure everybody on your team is happy and making sure you play the game and that's what I have learned from this whole experience.”