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News | Oct. 7, 2015

Koreans outlast US in overtime thriller

By Phil Molter Armed Forces Sports

ANDONG, South Korea (6 Oct., 2015) – The U.S. men’s basketball team ran into a bump in the road on the way to the medal rounds at the 2015 World CISM Games here, falling 97-94 to the host South Korean team in an overtime thriller.

The South Koreans came out firing – and hitting – from long range, lofting more than 40 3-pointers to pace their scoring.  On the strength of that perimeter shooting they took a 44-34 lead into the half.

The USA team did a great job of adjusting to start the second, challenging the Korean players and patiently clawing their way back into the game. The increased defensive pressure paid off as the U.S. was able to outscore their opponents by an identical 44-34 margin, sending the game into overtime tied at 78.

Unfortunately for the US side, the Koreans held just enough in reserve to edge them out and finish the group stage undefeated.

The most glaring difference in the stats came from the free throw line. The ROK team sank an impressive 25 of 29 foul shots, an 86 percent rate, while the Americans could only manage to complete 16 of their 25, or 64 percent, from the charity stripe.

Leading the US in scoring was Air Force First Lt. Michael Lyons with 21, along with Air Force Capt. Matthew Holland and Army 2nd Lt. Ella Ellis each of whom put in 16.

Regardless of the result, both teams will move into the quarterfinals Oct. 08, with the US taking on Qatar while the Koreans will face France, and a rematch would be possible in the finals.