The American squad (4-2) features some of the nation's best collegians, but can finish no better than ninth place after losses to Australia and Canada last week. Sunday morning's triumph was its third win by 40 or more points and came thanks to a balanced all-around effort.
"When you lose two in a row and are knocked out of the medal round, it’s tough to get off the mat, and these guys showed that they are capable of that today," said Team USA head coach Bob McKillop of Davidson. "They showed it by their unselfishness and their team defense."
Team USA trailed 9-6 midway through the first period before an 11-0 run helped the squad take a 17-9 lead. McDermott had five of his seven points in the quarter during that flurry, while teammate Will Sheehey (Indiana) had the remaining six points in the run and finished the quarter with a team-high eight points. Team USA lead 17-15 after one period.
The Americans came out with a purpose to begin the second quarter, needing less than three minutes for a 15-0 run to more than double-up Norway, 32-15. McDermott had a three-pointer and added an two assists in the scoring binge as he reached double-figures for the fifth time in six games in Russia.
Team USA would win the second quarter 26-13 en route to a 43-25 halftime lead. McDermott had 10 points, three rebounds, three assists and a steal in 13 first-half minutes.
Team USA extended the lead to 64-40 after three quarters, then opened the fourth quarter on a 13-1 run before coasting to the 91-51 victory.
Sheehey made 7-of-9 shots and had a game-high 16 points, leading four Americans in double-figures. Cory Jefferson (Baylor) and Aaron White (Iowa) both scored 11, while McDermott finished with 10 points, five rebounds, three assists and a steal in 18 minutes.
Norway (2-4) was led by 10 points from Roy Emeka Nwachukwu.
Team USA shot 27-of-42 from two-point range, while Norway was 10-of-41 from inside the arc.
With the victory, Team USA will next play Germany (4-2) on Monday at 1 am Central in its penultimate contest at the World University Games. That game will have live stats, but will not be televised or video webcast. Germany (4-2) defeated Mongolia (2-4) by a 101-68 margin on Sunday morning.
Today’s other ninth-24th place games saw Finland (4-2) defeat Czech Republic (2-4) 70-52, United Arab Emirates (1-5) defeat China (1-5) 64-62, Ukraine (1-5) advancing past Philippines (0-6) via forfeit 20-0, Mexico (4-2) topping South Korea (2-4) 98-70, while Japan (2-4) thumped Oman (0-6), 123-40.
In the medal quarterfinals: Canada (6-0) topped Brazil (4-2) 88-77, Serbia (6-0) crushed Estonia (4-2) 88-43, Australia (5-1) upset Lithuania (5-1) 60-55 and host Russia (6-0) downed Romania (4-2), 78-53.
Assisting McKillop on the USA sideline are John Beilein of the University of Michigan and Frank Martin of the University of South Carolina.
The USA men are currently 142-11 all-time record in World University Games play.
Photos and quotes courtesy USA Basketball