Saturday, August 20, 2011
Updated: August 23, 9:51 AM ET
U.S. stunned in quarterfinals
ESPN.com news services
A fourth-quarter rally fell short and the United States lost 76-74 to Lithuania in the quarterfinals of the World University Games on Saturday night in Shenzhen, China.
The U.S. came back from eight points down to tie the game at 74 with under two minutes left but missed its last five shots. Lithuania hit two free throws to win.
"I thought our guys came out and gave a good effort," said U.S. and Purdue coach Matt Painter. "Lithuania was a little bit quicker to the basketball. They outrebounded us by about six. If you can pinpoint one area, probably the loose balls and a couple of those long rebounds probably ended up being the key to the game. That was something that we talked about. You got to give Lithuania credit. They did a good job of running down some long rebounds and being able to get the loose balls and in my opinion that was the difference."
Vanderbilt's John Jenkins led the Americans with 17 points and Pitt's Ashton Gibbs added 16.
The Americans shot just 34 percent from the field and made 5 of 30 from 3-point range.
"We had some shots that didn't fall," Jenkins said. "We made a couple of mistakes on defense. They got to the free throw line. They hit some big shots and they were able to close it out.
The U.S. moves into the consolation bracket, where it will play Romania on Sunday. The winner will advance to the 5th-place game.
"(Lithuania) fought hard," UC Santa Barbara's Orlando Johnson said. "They fought really hard. You could tell they've been together for awhile. They've been in games like this before. There were situations down the stretch we didn't execute ... we just didn't finish."
The Americans entered the tournament 131-8 in the World University Games since 1965, but recent success has been rare. They finished third in 2009 and have won the biennial competition just once since 2001.