Maybe it was the balls. Maybe it was the longer 3-point line. Maybe it was shot selection. No matter what the reason, Purdue was struggling to shoot the 3-pointer as it prepared for the World University Games.
During two exhibitions with Canada, a tune-up scrimmage with Norway and the first round of pool play against Argentina, Purdue hit just 28.6 percent of its attempts from behind the arc. That was well below the 40.3 percent the Boilers shot last season on the way to establishing a new school record with 315 3-pointers.
Monday during the World University Games, Purdue/Team USA broke out of its shooting slump. Team USA hit 15-of-30 (50 percent) of its 3-pointers on the way to a 127-53 rout of the United Arab Emirates. Team USA improves to 2-0 in pool play.
Starting senior point guard P.J. Thompson suffered a thigh bruise in Sunday’s win over Argentina and did not play. Junior guard Ryan Cline started in his place and led the team with 20 points and seven rebounds. He made 4-of-6 from long range and 4-of-4 inside the arc.
Cline was one of eight players to score in double figures. Vincent Edwards recorded a double-double of 17 points and 11 rebounds. Dakota Mathias (15 points), Sasha Stefanovic (15), Aaron Wheeler (11), Eden Ewing (10), Nojel Eastern (10) and Isaac Haas (10) also scored in double figures.
In addition to Cline’s four 3-pointers, Stefanovic made 5-of-8 from long range, and Mathias hit 3-of-5. Jacquil Taylor, Carsen Edwards and Wheeler also sunk one 3-pointer each.
USA will face Czech Republic on Wednesday at 5:30 a.m. EDT from Taipei Arena. The Czech Republic is 1-1 in pool play.