ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Tennessee basketball player Derek Reese led all scorers for the second time in as many days Saturday as his Puerto Rican U19 team suffered an 85-59 loss at the hands of the USA Midwest squad at the 2012 Nike Global Challenge.
Reese, who will be a freshman forward for the Vols this season, started for Puerto Rico for the second straight game and scored 21 points on 8-of-16 shooting. He was 2-for-5 from 3-point range and 3 for 4 at the foul line.
The USA Midwest Team – one of three American teams in the eight-team field – outscored the Puerto Ricans 54-32 in the paint and finished with a 57-30 advantage on the glass. USA Midwest never trailed.
“We stayed with them and kept things pretty close in the first half,” Reese said. “But their overall team athleticism ended up being the difference.”
Reese grabbed four rebounds and also blocked one shot in 32 minutes Saturday as his team fell to 0-2 at the Challenge, which concludes Sunday.
“It was clear from the beginning that they were trying to limit what I could do by fronting me basically the length of the court,” Reese said. “But I just played through it and didn’t back down.”
Reese is eligible to compete on the Puerto Rican team for this event because his grandmother, Irma Montanez, was born in Puerto Rico.