TOKYO—Pesky on the defensive end and very deliberate on offense, National Chengchi University of Chinese Taipei on Saturday showed heavy favorite Radford University of the United States the door after a 79-75 victory that put the Griffins back in the World University Basketball Series final game.
The Griffins used a floating zone defense and got the goods from young swingmen Sung Hsin-Hao and Lin Tzu-Hao when the going got rough in the fourth period as the Taiwanese await the winner of the Ateneo-Hakuoh University of Japan clash for a title game foe at Yoyogi National Stadium here.
“It was total teamwork for us, especially on the defensive end,” Sung told reporters through a translator after draining critical buckets in the fourth, including a spectacular windmill layup that eluded 6-foot-10 Radford center Josiah Harris for 67-61 with 5:16 left.
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The Griffins opened the second half trailing by four, and were down by 11 points near the halfway mark of the third period before their defense clicked.
Led by a workhorse of a center in Mouhamed Mbaye, NCCU, which lost by a wide margin to the Blue Eagles last year, methodically nibbled at that deficit and even led by 12 points late in regulation.
Mbaye was a force on both ends for the Griffins, notching a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds that went with two blocks and a steal.
Sung led NCCU in scoring with 22 points on top of six rebounds.
Only two late triples by the Highlanders made the final score close.
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