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Monday, July 13, 2015

Germans lament blown opportunities in double overtime loss

German guard Konstantin Klein (0) gets in an argument with Team USA guard Nic Moore (3) in a Team USA gold-medal game against Germany Monday, July 13, at the World University Games in South Korea.

German guard Konstantin Klein (0) gets in an argument with Team USA guard Nic Moore (3) in a Team USA gold-medal game against Germany Monday, July 13, at the World University Games in South Korea.

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— Watching the United States’ men’s basketball team celebrate its World University Games gold medal, Germany’s men’s basketball players stood on the other side of the court with their hands on their heads after USA’s 84-77, double-overtime victory on Monday at Yeomju Gymnasium. 

The Germans knew they had their chances to win, and that’s what hurt the most. 

“It’s a very tough loss for everybody,” Germany coach Henrik Rödl said. “It’s a big game. It felt like both teams deserved to win. We had big chances before the regular time was out. The first overtime, seemed like we had them. Then they got back in there and got it tied. At the end, we made a couple mistakes too many to win the game.”

Germany had a four-point lead, 66-62, with 1:39 left in regulation, but two defensive fouls led to free throws from Kansas University senior forward Perry Ellis and junior point guard Frank Mason III. 

With 20 seconds left in regulation, tied 66-all, Germany had the ball with no shot clock, but Mason stole the ball from German guard Maodo Lo and nearly won the game before Mason lost the ball trying to go up for a layup. 

Reader poll

Which KU player do you think the World University Games helped the most?

  • Carlton Bragg 2% 92 votes
  • Perry Ellis 1% 42 votes
  • Devonte Graham 0% 25 votes
  • Landen Lucas 0% 37 votes
  • Frank Mason 12% 519 votes
  • Hunter Mickelson 39% 1597 votes
  • Wayne Selden 40% 1672 votes
  • Jamari Traylor 0% 10 votes
  • Lagerald Vick 2% 90 votes

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“We had some chances,” Rödl said. “We had the ball in our hands. We didn’t get a shot up (in regulation). With 20 seconds to go, we had the ball and they almost made one. We got away with it and stole the ball back. But at the end of the day, we had the ball with 20 seconds and should’ve had the last shot, and we didn’t get one.”

In the first overtime, Germany held a four-point lead with 2:25 remaining in the period, but missed its next two shots and gave up two offensive rebounds to USA. German guard Konstantin Klein said tired legs weren’t a factor. 

“Both teams were tired, but if you’re going for gold or playing your last game for gold, it doesn’t matter if you’re tired or not,” said Klein, who had 10 points and four rebounds. “You want to win. It’s tough when you’re tired but it doesn’t matter.”

“It was a tough game for 50 minutes,” Klein added. “I think we fought pretty good. At the end of the day, they made better plays than we did. They won the game. I don't know what to say. It’s been a tough loss for us. We came here to win a gold medal.”

Mason scored 11 points in the last 14 minutes with Germany’s guards and forwards trying to stop him from driving into the paint. 

“He’s a pretty good player,” Klein said of Mason. “He’s got good ball-handling skills. He can penetrate. He can shoot the ball. He’s the best point guard in the tournament. He did a pretty good job at the end of the day. Like at the end of the quarters, he finished a layup and he kind of won the game for the U.S. team.”

Mason, Ellis and Kansas University junior guard Wayne Selden Jr. combined for 59 points, but they struggled from the field, shooting 29 percent (18-for-62). The three scored 38 of USA’s 46 points in the second half and two overtimes.

“Selden, Ellis and Mason have been their three-point leaders,” Rödl said. “Obviously it was a main focus (on defense). They played a lot of minutes. You’ve got to put your hats off to them with how many minutes they played. They stuck with it and played well at the end. Selden made a huge shot at the end for them to go up (in the second overtime).

“But I did think that our guys guarded pretty good to contain them. It’s a tough game. These guys are good.”


More from Team USA’s double-overtime gold-medal victory


Comments

Rodney Crain 1 year, 10 months ago

Great win for KU. I had my doubts but Frank willed them to the win!

Mick Allen 1 year, 10 months ago

Rodney, no truer words have ever been spoken.

Clarence Haynes 1 year, 10 months ago

Of all the teams that we played, the Germans had the best balance. That game could've gone the other way, but thanks to Frank, Wayne, Nic, and all, KU/USA gutted out the win!

Harlan Hobbs 1 year, 10 months ago

It's easy to do when you win, but hats off to the German team. They made their countrymen proud just as the USA team did. We are used to losing some tough, close games, so we know how the Germans feel. Nevertheless, congratulations to them, and it appears that the two best teams in the tournament played for the gold.

John Randall 1 year, 10 months ago

The German team was suspect because they had no games where they needed to go all out, all game long.
They did much better in the final than most expected. KU/USA just had the bigger hearts and that trumped many things the Germans were bigger and better at. Jayhawks had fewer exceptional plays, but made the most of every one of them count. Imagine 6'8"-9" with a 10-rebound advantage and more second-chance points than 7'3" and two more at 7' or more!

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