Ninth-place never sounds good in a team sport, but it was the best the U.S. could get in World University Games men's basketball after being eliminated from medal-contention.
The U.S. won the ninth-place game Tuesday, 97-70 over Finland, to finish with a 6-2 mark in the tourney. Alas, it was 0-2 against its two best opponents, Australia and Canada.
Iowa junior-to-be forward Aaron White closed with a strong performance against the Finns, accumulating 12 points and 10 rebounds in 20 minutes.
White averaged 6.1 points, 3.6 rebounds and 15.4 minutes per game. He was 18-of-33 from the field, 10-of-17 from the foul line, and 3-of-10 from 3-point territory. He blocked five shots and had six steals.
Canada failed to medal after going through pool play unbeaten and winning its medal-round opener. The Canadians lost in Tuesday's bronze-medal game to Serbia, 87-74. Iowa State's Melvin Ejim had seven points and three rebounds in 21 minutes for Canada.
Ejim averaged 8.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and 19.3 minutes in the tournament. He was 26-of-52 from the field, 12-of-14 from the foul line, and 3-of-6 from 3-point distance. He had 12 assists and seven steals.
The leading scorer in the 24-team tourney was Sanchir Tungalag of Mongolia, who averaged 20.7 points. He took 150 shots in eight games.