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Kansas defeats Lithuania, 70-48

  • 10 p.m., July 10, 2015
  • Dongkang Gymnasium, Gwangju, South Korea,

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Locked in: Team USA one step closer to World University Games gold

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) looks up court to start a fast break in a Team USA quarter-final game against Lithuania Saturday, July 11, at the World University Games in Gwangju, South Korea.

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) looks up court to start a fast break in a Team USA quarter-final game against Lithuania Saturday, July 11, at the World University Games in Gwangju, South Korea.

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— The United States men’s basketball players couldn’t find any rhythm on offense in the third quarter against Lithuania in the World University Games quarterfinals on Saturday at Dongkang College Gymnasium. 

So in the fourth quarter, they turned to their defense to create opportunities. The Jayhawks scored 15 straight points to earn a 70-48 victory and advance to the tournament semifinals. 

SMU senior guard Nic Moore started a 25-2 run in the fourth quarter with a steal and layup before KU junior point guard Frank Mason III drove to the rim for a layup-and-the-foul. Moore added another steal and short jumper in the first 90 seconds of the period. 

“We really guarded the second half,” said Kansas coach Bill Self after his team held Lithuania to 17-percent shooting in the last two quarters (6-for-35). “I mean we really guarded. I don’t know if a team can play much better summertime defense than that in the second half. We did a real good job after ball screens and were fortunate they missed shots.” 

Lithuania entered the quarterfinals with the most points in the tournament, averaging 86.6 points per game. It finished 4-for-27 from deep (15 percent) Saturday. 

“We all just came together and decided that we wanted to lock in on defense, and just get stops,” said Mason, who scored a game-high 18 points with seven rebounds and four assists. 

After the Jayhawks went on a 10-0 run and Lithuania called a timeout, Lithuania guard Paulius Dambrauskas missed an open three-pointer following an offensive rebound, and Kansas junior guard Wayne Selden Jr. made his opponents pay with a three-pointer from the right wing for a 55-42 lead. 

After Selden’s three, the rout was on, with seven different scorers contributing to the big 25-2 run. Moore and Mason combined for 10 steals (six from Moore). 

“It starts with our bigs,” Moore said. “They were dominant on the glass and stuff. That allowed me, Frank and Wayne to be aggressive on the perimeter and get steals. I think Frank got a steal, then I got one and then Frank got one again. After that, we just picked up the pressure and I don’t think they had an answer for it.” 

In the third quarter, Lithuania held the Jayhawks to 21 percent shooting (3-of-14) and cut the margin to 43-42 with one minute left in the period after USA took a seven-point halftime lead. 

“There’s a lot of things that you can’t control,” said KU junior forward Landen Lucas, who had seven points and nine rebounds in 20 minutes. “You can’t control what the refs are doing. The rules are different. The shot clock is different. The one thing that you can control is playing defense. We knew we had to get out there and play some good defense.” 

“A couple of times, we didn’t have a great possession and we didn’t move the ball from side to side, which led to bad shots,” Mason added. “But then later on in the (half), we had great ball movement, which led to great offense, and that’s how we got the run.”

In the first quarter, the Jayhawks jumped to a 21-13 lead, scoring on eight of their first 15 possessions. Ellis had seven points in that stretch while Mason and Selden added five points each. Selden finished with 13 points on 5-of-10 shooting while Ellis had 11 (5-of-18). 

“Wayne is playing to win,” Self said. “He didn’t score the ball as well today, but God, he made some big time NBA-type plays. That last drive he made at the end of the (shot) clock (in the fourth quarter), when he split the defender and threw a runner off his left foot ... that’s a big-time play.” 

But the Jayhawks won the game with strong defense in the second half, never giving up their lead when their offense struggled. 

“It took a little while for us to figure it out,” Lucas said of Lithuania’s offense. “By the fourth quarter, we had a way to guard ball screens and we kind of just got them out of the rhythm of things. We guarded very well.”

The Jayhawks will play in the semifinals against Russia at 6:30 p.m. Sunday (4:30 a.m. CDT on ESPNU) Sunday at Dongkang College Gymnasium.

“We’re excited, but I mean we know that we could still come out here and not even get a medal,” Lucas said. “So we’ve still got to win games. Nothing is guaranteed at this point in time. We came out here for the gold and that’s what we’re going to try to get.” 


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Comments

Humpy Helsel 2 years, 3 months ago

Landen Lucas was a stud tonight. I think watching Hunter have so much success may have put a chip on his shoulder, which is how he played. The defense in the second half, particularly midway of 3rd and until late in 4th really bothered them, and seemed to wear them down. Impressive win.

Steve Zimmerman 2 years, 3 months ago

For those who missed the game, i stumbled upon this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0j6G7hXhxMA Courtesy of: "돌팔이 4th".

Shannon Gustafson 2 years, 3 months ago

Wow, I did not see that 4th quarter coming! I thought we'd pull it off but I didn't think we'd lock down like that while taking it to them on offense. Very impressed.

I'd like to know why they called a technical foul on Moore when it didn't even look like he touched the shooter. Only thing I could come up with was some sort of odd rule regarding stepping out of bounds on defense or something? Moore has got no respect at these Games for whatever reason. I can't believe he shot his 3rd and 4th free throws of the entire tournament tonight. How is that even possible with all the minutes he's played and how much he's been pushed around, thrown down, etc?

They sure were picking on Selden on the travel calls. Funny when they don't call something like that and then all the sudden they call 3 of them in 1 game. Officiating was questionable tonight after being pretty good most of this tourney so far.

Mason looked like his old self tonight (finally). I'd been wondering when we'd see that again. Now we just need to get Perry to play like we're used to. He did so in the 1st quarter tonight.

Landon finally showed up tonight. That was refreshing. If we can get Landon and Hunter to continue to play the way they played tonight, we'll be a whole lot more difficult to beat.

Rodney Crain 2 years, 3 months ago

When the player does not complain on the travel call, I think he knows he traveled... We act like we are being picked on with the officiating, watch the other teams coaches, I do not think they would agree. I do not see anyone in love with the officials, to blame them for anything is wasted effort. It will not change anything, most calls even out, and we are still in this thing. So I guess it was not so bad it costs us the game.

Finally? Mason has been one of the best and most consistent (like always) players on our team in Korea. Are you even watching the games or just reading stuff about them? Frank, Wayne and Hunter have showed up every single game. There must be a haze on peoples TV they watch Frank play and think he is not pulling his weight. When in fact he is and always seems to be one of the leaders of the game.

Don't tell Brianna about Landon's success, if she would have had her way Landon would not have played another minute for us there or for his upcoming senior season. She had given up on him already. Its a shame some folks lose faith so easily in these young men.

Shannon Gustafson 2 years, 3 months ago

I was referring to Mason finally knocking down some shots on offense. He's been good everywhere else but his shot was way off in the early games (0-7 from 3 the first two games, 3-13 through 3 games, Self blamed it on his hurt wrist). So what I was referring to is that he finally has started to shoot like the guy that knocked down 40% of his 3's last season. Maybe you forgot about the first 3 games of this tourney? He's still only 7-20 from 3 at this point, though he's been a lot better the last few few games (7-17 the last 4 games).

Shannon Gustafson 2 years, 3 months ago

Make that 7-24 overall from 3 thus far 0-7 the first two games, 7-17 over the last 4 games.

Richard Duran 2 years, 3 months ago

The guys looked ragged in that 3rd quarter. To be expected having played and won 6 games since July 3rd. I hope Mikkleson keeps that up in the regular season. We could have a formidable frontcourt if Perry and Landon play lights out. I hope Greene has his groove back. Vick and Bragg need to stay for a few years. Can't wait to see Diallo in Crimson and Blue.

Jay Scott 2 years, 3 months ago

Nic Moore isn't that good. If Graham was healthy, Moore wouldn't play.

Greg Ledom 2 years, 3 months ago

Completely unnecessary comment about a guy who joined the team to help support his country win a gold medal. Certainly your opinion but you can't deny Nic's contribution to the current success we've had thus far. No need to cut him down Jay.

JD Roth 2 years, 3 months ago

Nic can play or he wouldn't have been POY in his Conference. He was getting mugged in several games but has kept fighting. He wouldn't be wearing KU colors if he wasn't high quality. This appears to be KU's Gold Medal for the taking.

Mick Allen 2 years, 3 months ago

Shannon, have I missed something? "Mason looked like his old self tonight finally" He has averaged over 15 a game on 50% shooting although his 3 point percentage is down as is every other player's in the tourney as the rims are tight and the ball seems lively[inflation gate?] His assist to turnover ratio is 3 to 1 and he is 2nd or 3rd in rebounding at 5'11' maybe and is 1st or 2nd in steals. If we play in the title game Wayne and he are locks for all tourney. Please give him another year or two to be Chris Paul.

Rodney Crain 2 years, 3 months ago

Mick I think Shannon is just reading about the games, he can not be watching them and say that. Just not possible.

Frank, like he usually is for us, is one of the best players every game there.

Maybe he takes for granted a 15ppg, 50% 3t, rebounding, ball handling guard. SMH

Shannon Gustafson 2 years, 3 months ago

How about you let me reply to questions directed towards me Rodney? Stop making stupid assumptions. I've watched every possession of every one of these games (other than Chile that wasn't televised). Some of them I've watched twice as I watched them live and then watched them again on DVR when my wife was catching up on them.

Mick, I was referring to his 3pt shot and jumpers finally going down. In previous games his drives/layups were keeping his shooting percentage high while he was either missing all of his 3's and missing many of his jumpers (a few caught the front of the rim and bounced in late against Serbia). Mason has certainly been solid other than his mid range and long range shots.

Maybe Rodney wasn't watching the games where Mason couldn't make a 3 at all (and didn't make any for 3 games).

Shannon Gustafson 2 years, 3 months ago

Mason is 7-24 overall from 3 thus far and was 0-7 the first two games, 7-17 over the last 4 games. So as you can see, he was horrible from deep early on and has started to get back to normal (~40% last year).

Rodney Crain 2 years, 3 months ago

Shannon don't get upset when you say something silly and someone calls you on it. Just stop posting silly things.

Like most of your posts you seem to lose touch with reality and I question how in the world you can come up with some of your comments. Its almost like you don't even think about what you are trying to say. You can't blame me for what you do...

Regarding where and who I post to, you do not control that. It amazes me how some of you on here actually think you can control the comments section to suit your own individual needs. This is a public place, not the Shannon G personal Blog site. How long have you been posting on sites? Is this your first one?

Try thinking about what you are saying, and try not to overreact when someone calls you out when you make a mistake or do not explain yourself very well. These are just suggestions, see what I did there, you obviously can say what you want to whoever you want. Guess what Shannon, So can I. So wrong again...

IMO you are not paying close attention to the games, you certainly do not understand how well Frank is playing and you tend to overreact a lot on here. Sometimes I am going to say something when you do.

JD Roth 2 years, 3 months ago

Frank Mason is playing just fine. University of Kansas, not Kansas University, looks to be playing great team ball. Even Tyler Self hit a three. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!!! Go USA...

Gerry Butler 2 years, 3 months ago

Dam Jay, got to say I have to agree with the other posts, Nic Moore not that good? Like has been mentioned he has been getting mugged and beat up, may be small but full of energy very good defense for he most part. Example- - -tonight 6 steals, that not any good? I know of 1 very key steal he made at a crucial point when it was thin ice I think we was up 1 maybe 2 at the time late in the game to help start the 4th quarter run. not good enough? come on man. Shannon agree with MOST but I think your thought about seeing Frank finally being his old self again? you can't ask for a much better model of consistency than Frank and Wayne has given through this tourney. SOLID- - - -VERY SOLID. I'm seeing signs of very sweet team this year, if we can get any kind, any kind of consistent play out of our bigs like we have gotten these last tree games we will be soooooo much better, I still fel Cheick will be the key for our inside, but with the 3 of him, and Hunter really looking a lot better and if we can have Landon stay focused on the game keep his head on straight we will be just fine in the middle. Can't say enough of how proud of the guys in the tourney, this game showed their toughness not getting down when things weren't working in the 3rd quarter, great defense like coach said have one a really good job on the boards. lets keep rockin. ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG BABY

Jay Scott 2 years, 3 months ago

Higher shooting percentage in this tourney. Tyler or Nic Moore? Gotta be close.

Elias Dunlavy 2 years, 3 months ago

Really Jay? if that is your stance then your opinion means nothing

Taylor Wright 2 years, 3 months ago

Just nit-picking, but I really wish Wayne would make his free throws. I know he's been great, but going 1-6 from the line is horrendous and could cost us big time in late-game situations. He's a guard, he needs to make his free throws, or it's going to hurt us in the season.

Vick may have only got 2 points, but holy cow what a dunk! That kid has been nothing but a pleasant surprise and will give us good minutes this year, and hopefully play a big role next year after we lose a lot of big time players. He's supposed to be a senior in high school right now!

Really excited about the future for this Jayhawk team. Deep and talented as I can ever remember.

Shannon Gustafson 2 years, 3 months ago

Yes, that dunk surprised me as well. The angle of the camera when he was driving in made it look like he barely jumped and then next thing you see is him dunking it. The replays from different angles showed it better.

Aaron Paisley 2 years, 3 months ago

KU's backcourt should return largely in tact in 2016-17. Selden could go if he plays like has during the tournament when the season rolls around and Svi is also on a lot of NBA radars right now. It's also possible KU loses neither and returns their backcourt completely in tact in 2016-17.

Gregor Southard 2 years, 3 months ago

It's a great day to be a Kansas University Jayhawk! "Lighten up, Francis."

Harlan Hobbs 2 years, 3 months ago

Rodney, you are probably right in your statement that the bad officiating has been evenly dispersed. However, I really like the way that our guys and coaches react to it. If they react at all, it is usually with smiles

On the other hand, the Europeans, especially, seem to complain about almost every call. Perhaps it is just a difference in cultures.

Am really pleased for Landon Lucas. He has taken some hits lately for his perceived "body language", so his performance against Lithuania was especially rewarding.

Now, let's take care of Russia and go for the gold. Go Hawks, Nic, and Julian!

Rodney Crain 2 years, 3 months ago

Great point Harlan, we do seem to be acting to it well.

The other teams reaction reminds me of a professional game to be honest. Lots of reaction that does not seem to make any difference.

Nice post Harlan.

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