The Purdue men's basketball team continued to roll through pool play at the World University Games on Thursday with a 120-62 rout of Romania.
The Boilermakers, who are representing Team USA, improved to 4-0 heading into the final game of pool play against Estonia on Friday. Because of point differential, Team USA will advance to the medal round regardless of the result. (Estonia would have to beat USA by 139 points).
While Purdue has enjoyed comfortable wins throughout pool play, Thursday's performance was the most complete. The Americans shot 54.2 percent from the floor with 19 3-pointers. Meanwhile, USA held Romania to just 38.9 percent shooting. USA entered the game averaging 19 turnovers but limited that number to a more manageable 12, while forcing Romania into 29 turnovers.
"I thought this was our best performance since we've been here," coach Matt Painter told reporters in Taiwan. "I thought we really shot the ball well and really moved the ball well. We were taking what the defense gave us. We had strong balance inside and out, and then I thought we scored off our defense. We stayed with the gameplan and played good team basketball for 40 minutes."
Painter has used the lopsided victories to develop some chemistry and confidence with his newcomers. Freshman guard Sasha Stefanovic took advantage of the opportunity, scoring a game-high 17 points. He made 6 of 12 field goals overall and 3 of 8 from long distance.
Ryan Cline added 15 points on five 3-pointers, while Carsen Edwards, Vincent Edwards and Dakota Mathias all had 14 points for USA.
Mathias and Isaac Haas each had eight rebounds, while five players had three assists each. Grady Eifert had 10 points, six rebounds and four steals off the bench.
After a slow start, USA jumped out to a 13-2 lead just five minutes into the game and led 32-13 after the first quarter.
After struggling in the second quarter of games, the Americans poured it on against Romania, outscoring the Romanians by a 36-11 margin for a 68-24 halftime lead. USA shot 12-of-15 from the field in the second quarter to surge to its largest halftime lead of the games. USA led 98-47 after three quarters.
Purdue will close out pool play against Estonia on Friday, beginning at 12:30 a.m. EDT.