Stout Defense Propels USA In Blowout Victory Over Cuba

By Mike Garabedian | February 24, 2018

Behind a suffocating defense that held the opposition to 25 percent shooting from the field, USA Basketball improved to 3-0 in FIBA World Cup Qualifiers on Friday with a dominating 84-48 victory over Cuba at Kaiser Permanente Arena in Santa Cruz, Calif.

All 12 Americans contributed to the scoring, including three players that reached double figures to pace the offense. Lakeland Magic guard Rodney Purvis led the attack with 14 points on 6-for-10 shooting, while Northern Arizona Suns’ Xavier Silas and Reno Bighorns’ David Stockton poured in 14 and 10 points apiece, respectively.

Devin Williams of the Maine Red Claws filled the stat sheet by scoring eight points to go with a team-high 12 rebounds and six assists. Starters Andrew Harrison (Reno Bighorns) and Larry Drew II (Sioux Falls Skyforce) also got in on the action combining for 16 points and seven assists.

USA jumped out of the gate with a 15-0 advantage before Cuba got on the board with 5:25 left in the first quarter. That was all the Americans would need as its stifling defense held Cuba to only 24 second half points en route to its second-straight win by more than 30 points.

Aiming to make it a perfect 4-0 start to the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers, USA will battle Puerto Rico on Monday, Feb. 25th at Kaiser Permanente (11 PM ET, ESPN2).

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