Tai Webster and New Zealand earned its first victory with a 73-61 win over Ukraine. The Husker sophomore guard had eight points on 3-of-7 shooting, grabbed seven rebounds and dished out three assists to help New Zealand improve to 1-3 in Group C. Webster got New Zealand going early with two baskets and two early assists, as New Zealand jumped to a 10-5 advantage. Ukraine led 41-40 in the third quarter before Webster‘s basket and assist helped spur a 10-2 spurt to give New Zealand a lead they would not relinquish.
Webster, who is the youngest player on the New Zealand roster, has started all four games at guard and is averaging 5.2 points, 4.0 rebounds and a team-high 2.0 assists per game. They face a second straight must-win game Thursday when they take on Finland at 8 a.m. central in their quest to advance out of pool play.
Former Husker Jorge Brian Diaz played a valuable role in helping Puerto Rico to a 77-73 win over the Philippines. The 6-foot-11 center came off the bench and hit 2-of-3 shots and grabbed three offensive rebounds in nine minutes of work. Diaz is averaging 1.3 points and 3.3 rebounds per game while averaging 10.7 minutes off the bench. Puerto Rico, which is 1-3 in Group B, plays Croatia on Wednesday and will need a win and some help to advance out of pool play.
Thursday’s FIBA World Cup Schedule
Thursday, Sept. 4 Puerto Rico vs. Croatia 10:30 a.m. WatchESPN
Thursday, Sept. 4 New Zealand vs. Finland 8 a.m. WatchESPN
Courtesy of UNL Media Relations