Team USA wins despite going the last 6:57 without a point
It was not pretty, but a win is a win, especially when Clemson (Team USA) went the final 6:57 without scoring a single point in its 58-57 victory over the Ukraine national team Friday at the World University Games in Naples, Italy.
The Tigers improved to 2-0 in Pool C of the preliminary round. Team USA will play China on Saturday in their third and final game of pool play. The game tips at 11:30 a.m. (EST).
Using a 9-0 run that carried from the end of the third period to the beginning of the fourth, Clemson built its biggest lead of the game, 55-40, following a Nick Honor three-pointer with 9:08 to play.
After a couple of baskets from Ukraine to pull within 11, John Newman increased the lead back to 14 points with an old-fashioned three-point play with 6:57 to play. It was the Tigers’ last points of the afternoon.
Over the final 6:57, Clemson watched its lead start to slip away as it missed its last eight shots, turned the ball over once and missed its only two free throws attempts.
The Ukraine team pulled within three points, 58-55, when Mykhailo Horobchenko made a three with 1:26 to play. They had opportunity to pull within one twice on their next possession, but they missed two layups with 50 and 44 seconds to go.
Serhii Pavlov made a layup with five seconds to play, but Clemson was able to run out the clock and hung on for its one-point victory. The Ukraine team scored the last 13 points of the game.
The Tigers outscored the Ukraine team 15-6 in the third quarter to gain control of the game. The game was tight throughout the first half as Clemson led just 36-34 at the break.
It took a 51-40 lead into the fourth period after dominating the third.
Newman led the Tigers with a game-high 18 points. He also had 5 rebounds and 2 assists and did not turn the basketball over. He was 7 of 14 from the field and 4 of 6 from the foul line.
Hunter Tyson added 15 points, 11 of which came in the first half. He also had six rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals.
Tyson made 5 of 10 three-pointers. However, the rest of the Clemson team was a combined 2-for-20 from behind the arc.
The Tigers shot just 30.8 percent (21-68) overall from the field. Ukraine was not much better as it made just 21 of 63 shots and was 4 of 27 from the field. It also turned the ball over 14 times, seven of which were steals.