John Jenkins and Team USA didn’t capture the coveted gold medal. They did finish the World University Games with a victory.
The Vanderbilt guard scored 15 points as the Americans edged Germany 86-83 in the fifth-place game Monday in Shenzhen, China.
The win came two days after the U.S. (7-1) lost 76-74 to Lithuania in a quarterfinal game. Jenkins led the team with 17 points in that contest and then scored 12 the next day as Team USA breezed by Romania 94-73 to reach the fifth-place game.
Jenkins, a rising junior from Hendersonville, led the U.S. by averaging 13.5 points over the eight games.
“There’s a lot of pride with our team,” Jenkins said. “We could have easily said, ‘We didn’t get the gold medals so we’re just going to give up.’ We have a lot of good guys who wanted to come through and finish out strong. We were able to do that.”
• Belmont, MTSU, Lipscomb wrap up foreign trips: Belmont finished its overseas venture with a 96-62 win against Scauri of the Italian Professional League on Sunday.
The Bruins went 2-1 during the 10-day trip. They defeated SAV Vacallo of the Swiss National League, in Switzerland, 82-60 last week. Three days later, however, they lost 93-90 to Pallacanestro Lucca in Lucca, Italy. Belmont led by as many as 10 points and was up 47-38 at halftime.
Middle Tennessee State capped its four-game trip in Canada last Thursday. The Blue Raiders dominated in all four games in the Calgary tournament, finishing 4-0 against the Calgary Dinos, the Ranger Stars and the Alberta Golden Bears, who they defeated twice.
Senior forward LaRon Dendy led the team with an average of 14.5 points and 9.8 rebounds. Juniors Jason Jones and JT Sulton averaged 11.5 and 10.3 points per game, respectively. Junior guard Raymond Cintron saved his best for last, scoring 25 points and making seven 3-pointers in Middle Tennessee State’s 79-62 victory over Alberta on Thursday.
Lipscomb returned from its trip to the Dominican Republic last week. The Bisons were 4-0, picking up wins against Universidad Autonama de Santo Domingo, Club Calero, San Carlos and San Lazaro. Malcolm Williams, a 6-foot-5 freshman forward from Clarksville, led the team with an average of 17.5 points.