World University Games : U.S. Beats West Germany to Reach Basketball Final

Associated Press

The U.S. basketball team advanced to the championship game against the Soviet Union with a 103-76 semifinal victory over West Germany at the World University Games Monday.

The Soviets beat Canada, 88-71, in the other semifinal.

Stephen Thompson of Crenshaw High and Syracuse led the United States with 22 points.

Larry Johnson also played a key role, getting 12 rebounds, 11 on defense. Reserve Mark Randall of Kansas scored 14 points.

The West Germans took an 18-13 lead, but U.S. Coach Gene Keady of Purdue went to the bench for Randall, who got West Germany's star center, Hans Gnad, into early foul trouble. When Gnad picked up his third foul, he played less aggressively and the Americans caught up, then took the lead.

The West Germans rarely got second chances after that, as the U.S. team dominated the backboards.

"He was in a situation where he couldn't play as hard as he wanted to with three fouls," Randall said. "He didn't want to sit out so we tried to go at him with whomever he was guarding.

"The bench was very effective. You need that for a winning team. This team has 12 good players."

Keady praised his team's defense and board work for turning the game around.

"Our defense was the difference in the game," he said. "We rebounded well and just played strong, and once we got Gnad into foul trouble, that was the game, basically."

Looking ahead to today's final against the Soviets, Keady said: "It looks like they've put together a strong team--smart, good shooters. I don't see any weaknesses there. They are as well balanced as we are."

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World
61°