At the end of yesterday’s 1st half game against Israel, Vincent Edwards went down with a twisted ankle. He writhed on the ground and had to be helped to the locker room. Purdue fans everywhere saw not just this tournament, but the upcoming season go into jeopardy. Vincent would make his return in the second half of that game, but the concern still lingered, would he be healthy enough to play after the adrenaline wore off?
Word came out during the day from Purdue’s SID Chris Forman. Vincent was sore, but there’s no way he was missing these games. Man, was he right.
Team USA defeated Serbia 93-61 to advance to the gold medal game tomorrow at 8 am behind a Herculean first half from Vincent Edwards.
The senior put up 23 points in the first half, leading Team USA to a 46-23 edge on Serbia. In case that’s not clear, Vincent Edwards, despite a rolled ankle and having played 8 games in 10 days, tied the entire Serbian roster in points in the first half. He finished the game with 31 points on 12 of 15 shooting to go along with 5 rebounds and setting the tone all day for Team USA.
The game became even more lopsided after the half.
Vincent wasn’t the only Edwards doing damage against Serbia. Carsen Edwards responded from his 36 point performance in over time against Israel by scoring 16 points in just 23 minutes. He was relentless attacking the basket and focused on getting his teammates involved by dishing 6 assists. He also forced 4 steals.
All twelve Team USA players played. All twelve scored at least a point, but only the Edwards reached double figures. Isaac Haas struggled again, looking a little worn down at times and having his worst shooting performance of the tournament by going 1 of 5 from the floor in just under 14 minutes of play.
Team USA continues to shoot the ball well from deep by connecting on 13 of their 27 attempts, but more importantly, they started to take care of the ball. This was by far their best performance of the tournament in terms of protecting possessions and not turning the ball over. They finished with 11 turnovers but five of those occurred in the fourth quarter with the game decided and the reserves in.
Most important for Team USA, after having played 8 games in 10 days, and the 9th in eleven days staring at them tomorrow morning, they got to rest their starters. Only Dakota, Vincent, and Carsen logged more than twenty minutes of court time and they should be as sharp as possible for their championship game on Tuesday.
Team USA will play 8 am on Tuesday morning against the winner of Latvia and Lithuania later this morning.