U.S. downs Israel for bronze medal

Updated: July 11, 2009, 9:31 PM ET
By Andy Katz | ESPN.com

The favored Americans salvaged a bronze medal with a 91-80 victory over Israel Saturday at the World University Games in Belgrade, Serbia.

Serbia beat Russia for the gold medal later Saturday. Russia nipped the United States by one in Friday's semifinal.

The U.S. is now 131-8 all time in the WUG with 13 gold medals, three silver and three bronze.

Marquett's Lazar Hayward led the Americans with 14 points while West Virginia's Da'Sean Butler scored 13.

"Our guys showed a lot of grit," said USA and University of Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan said in a statement. "There were a couple of pushes that Israel made, and we answered. They cut our lead to four, they got it to two and then four again, and they stayed around. Then we opened it up. Our guys kept fighting, too. Israel wanted a medal as bad as we did."

"Israel is a really good team, and they wanted to win as well," said Hayward. "Everybody wants to beat USA, so we are always going to get their best shot. They didn't give up until the buzzer sounded."

Andy Katz is a senior writer for ESPN.com.

Andy Katz | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com

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