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Men’s Basketball: Payton Scores 24 But Reach USA Falls, 71-69

DIANJING, China – Elfrid Payton scored a game-high 24 points and made an important steal in the final seconds, but Reach USA had a pair of game-tying shots blocked as Athletas de Lithuania escaped with a 71-69 win on Sunday evening.  It was the last of six exhibition games between the teams during a cultural exchange in the Far East.


Payton went 12-for-21 from the field to post his fourth 20-point game of the tour, adding seven rebounds, five assists and seven steals.  Murray State‘s Stacy Wilson was the only other player in double figures, finishing with 21 points.


Reach USA held a six-point halftime advantage before Lithuania used a 29-14 third quarter to lead by nine going into the final stanza.


Down by as many as 10 in the final quarter, Reach USA rallied to cut the lead to 70-69 following a basket with eight seconds left.  Payton than stole the inbounds pass but Reach USA had two straight shots blocked before Lithuania grabbed the rebound and was fouled.


After Lithuania converted one of two free throws, Reach USA did not get a chance to tie or win the game.


The game was won at the foul line as Reach USA was just four-for-nine (.444) while Lithuania was 17-for-21 (.810).


In six games, Payton is averaging 20.7 points, 6.8 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 3.2 steals per game, shooting .519 from the field (55-106). 


Reach USA is now 3-2-1 during the tour and will play two games against Chinese opponents this week.






Brian McCann

Sports Information Director

University of Louisiana

201 Reinhardt Drive

Lafayette, LA  70506-4297

Office:  (337) 482-6331

Cell:  (216) 798-6376