GWANGJU, South Korea (Team Canada) – A final push from Canada couldn’t reign in the Germans, who will advance to the semi-final round after a 79-73 decision at Gwangju University Gymnasium. Canada will now play for fifth place in the 23- team tournament.
With a trip to the semis up for grabs, the game was played with high intensity throughout, and the final minutes were no exception. With the score at 50-50 moments into the fourth frame, Germany went on a 12-3 run.
Adika Peter-McNielly canned a three with 3:40 to play to narrow it down to 62-57, and the solid defence of Aaron Best caused a turnover on the next German trip. Germany again pulled out to a ten point lead at 70-60, and although Canada made one last run to make it 72-67 with 43 seconds to go, the three-point and free throw shooting of Germany’s Mathis Moenninghoff and Hans Brase carried the top seed to the win.
“That was a tough German squad. They were deep, very big and they were composed,” said head coach Barnaby Craddock. “We worked hard and left it all on the floor. There’s no shame in losing to a team like that.”
Johnny Berhanemeskel (University of Ottawa) led Canada with 16 points including four three-pointers. Tommy Nixon (UBC) and Jordan Baker (Edmonton, Alta.) also reached double digits, scoring 14 and 11, respectively.
The quickness of Canada’s forwards paid off early on, and the score was tied at 16-16 at the end of the first quarter. By halftime, Germany had taken a slim 32-29 lead. Nixon closed out the half on a positive note for Canada by chasing down a loose ball and converting an and-one play.
Germany pulled ahead by seven in the third quarter before back-to-back treys by Berhanemeskel narrowed the lead to 45-44, setting up the dramatic finish. The teams entered the fourth quarter with Germany ahead 50-48 and exploded for a combined 54 points in the final ten minutes.
Canada (4-2) will play two more games at the Universiade, starting with a 12:30 p.m. match against France (5-1) on Sunday (11:30 p.m. ET Saturday).