‘First win in China’ South Korea beats Azerbaijan by 19 points

Korea gets its first win over Azerbaijan.
The South Korea men’s national basketball team won its first game at the Universiade on Nov. 31, 65-46, against Azerbaijan in Group D in Chengdu, China. Korea finished the preliminary round with a 1-1 record.

Lee Jung-hyun (16 points, three 3-pointers, five rebounds, five assists and four steals) and Yang Jun-seok (15 points, five rebounds and five assists) formed a one-two punch, while Kim Kyung-won (nine points, 12 rebounds and three blocked shots) used his height to defend the basket.

South Korea got off to a quick start with a basket by Shin Min-seok. Yang Jun-seok set up Park Jin-chul for a basket with a pass, and Shin Min-seok assisted Lee Jung-hyun on a three-pointer. A three-pointer by Kim Tae-hoon gave Korea a 17-9 lead, but in the second quarter, Korea missed a series of foul free throws. They quickly fell behind 19-17. Kim Kyung-won and Lee Jung-hyun came up with a quick spurt and Korea went into the half with a nine-point lead (30-21).

In the third quarter, Korea allowed Azerbaijan to score back-to-back three-pointers, but responded with a three-pointer from Shin Min-seok and foul free throws from Lee Jung-hyun. In the fourth quarter, which started with a 44-34 lead, Korea pushed further. After Lee hit a three-pointer at the start of the quarter, Park Mubin made back-to-back outside shots. 안전놀이터 Kim Tae-hoon chipped in as well to seal the win.

Earlier, South Korea lost 56-80 against Finland on Nov. 30. Lee Geun-hwi (12 points, 2 assists) hit four three-pointers and Lee Jung-hyun (13 points, 2 rebounds) continued to draw free throw fouls, but the Koreans were unable to contain the Finns, who used their height to dominate the paint. They were also heavily out-rebounded, 34-58.

South Korea, which improves to 1-1, will face the team that finishes first in Group C, either the United States or the Czech Republic, at 8:30 p.m. on Aug. 2.

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