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.