The shots weren’t falling and the problems kept piling up for the Team USA wheelchair basketball squad on Thursday.
But a couple of key baskets from UW-Whitewater product Jake Williams made the difference as Team USA put together a strong fourth quarter to beat Germany, 58-55, in both teams’ opening preliminary game at the 2020 Paralympic Games.
Williams, one of five UW-Whitewater players on Team USA, finished with 10 points on 5-for-13 shooting and added four rebounds and two assists.
With the exception of a 6-6 tie, Germany led throughout the first three quarters, ballooning its lead to as large as 10 points. Team USA shot 11-for-28 from the field in the first half and trailed at halftime, 28-22.
But Team USA cut the margin to 42-40 at the end of the third quarter, and Williams scored nine seconds into the fourth quarter to tie the game. Later, Williams sank an inside basket to give Team USA its first lead, 48-47. The final score represented Team USA’s largest lead.
Williams was the only UW-Whitewater product to score against Germany. Milton’s John Boie played the entire game, going 0-for-2 from the free-throw line and adding one rebound. Matt Scott scored four points and a team-high 10 assists. Matt Lesperance of Coleman and Nate Hinze of Cedar Grove did not play.
Team USA’s leader was Brian Bell, who totaled 20 points.