July 7, 2013
DEKALB, Ill. -- Senior Aksel Bolin (Asker, Norway/Asker) of the Northern Illinois men’s basketball team will represent his native Norway at the World University Games beginning this weekend in Kazan, Russia. Norway will open the tournament against Lithuania on Sunday, July 7.
“Our team has been together since early June, practicing every day,” said Bolin. “We have been working hard as a group and have 10 players that play basketball in the United States. We didn’t play any warm-up games but if we play our game and to our strengths we can be a good team and matchup with the big basketball nations. We have high expectations and hope to be at the top of our group, advance and play the U.S. team.”
The Norwegian team has been drawn into Group D, alongside Lithuania, Finland, Brazil, China and Chile. Following the preliminary round, the top two teams in each pool advance to the quarterfinals while the bottom four teams in each group drop into the classification round.
The World University Games are held every other year and are organized by the International University Sports Federation (FISU). To be eligible for the World University Games, athletes must be between the ages of 17 and 24, while also being enrolled in college within the past year.
As a junior last season with the Huskies, Bolin averaged 7.4 points and 4.2 rebounds while making 25 starts.
Norway World University Games Schedule
July 7 – v. Lithuania (L, 94-71)
July 8 – v. China (W, 106-74)
July 10 – v. Finland (L, 60-55)
July 11 – v. Chile (W, 62-48)
July 12 – v. Brazil (L, 77-47)
July 14 – v. United States (L, 91-51)
July 15 – v. Mongolia (W, 83-54)
July 16 – v. South Korea (W, 79-77)
Final Norway Team Stats
Game One: Lithuania 94, Norway 71 -- Final Box Score
Norway dropped its opening contest at the World University Games to Lithuania, 94-71. Bolin started for Norway and played 23 minutes, scoring six points on 2-of-3 shooting from the field and 2-of-2 from the free-throw line, while being limited due to foul trouble. Bolin also grabbed three rebounds and pulled down a pair of assists in the contest. Lithuania finished third at the World University Games in 2011 and is the favorite in Norway’s pool, Pool D.
Game Two: Norway 106, China 74 -- Final Box Score
Making his second-straight start, Bolin helped lead Norway to a 106-74 victory over China on Monday. The Norwegians raced out to a 12-2 lead in the opening five minutes of the contest, extended that lead to 20, 45-25, at halftime and never looked back. Bolin finished with six points on 2-of-3 shooting in 16 minutes of play.
Game Three: Finland 60, Norway 55 -- Final Box Score
Bolin made his third consecutive start as Norway dropped a narrow 60-55 decision to Finland. Bolin played 18 minutes, scoring four points while pulling down six rebounds. Bolin was limited due to foul trouble for the second game in the tournament, picking up two fouls in the first half and his fourth with 8:42 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Game Four: Norway 62, Chile 48 – Final Box Score
Bolin and the Norwegians had their best defensive performance thus far in the tournament as they defeated Chile, 62-48, to improve to 2-2. Bolin scored seven points in 16 minutes of action, starting the contest but once again limited due to foul trouble. Bolin went 3-of-6 from the field, including 1-of-1 from behind the three-point arc, to help Norway to the 14-point win.
Game Five: Brazil 77, Norway 47 -- Final Box Score
Aksel Bolin and Norway finished group play with a 77-47 setback against Brazil. Bolin made his fifth consecutive start and played 22 minutes, scoring two points while also pulling down two rebounds and dishing out three assists.
With the loss, Norway finishes group play with a 2-3 record, fourth-place in Pool D. The Norwegians now go into the classification quarterfinals to play for 9th-16th place. Norway will play the United States, who finished third in Pool C, on Sunday at 10 a.m.
Classification Quarterfinals: United States 91, Norway 51 -- Final Box Score
Facing its toughest test of the tournament, Bolin and the Norwegian team fell to the United States, 91-51, on Sunday. Norway hung with the US for a quarter, trailing just 17-15, but trailed 43-25 at the half. Bolin started again for Norway, playing 17 minutes with three points, going 1-of-3 from the field, and three rebounds. The United States was led by 16 points from Indiana’s Will Sheehey. Creighton’s Doug McDermott, Iowa’s Aaron White and Baylor’s Cory Jefferson also scored in double figures.
Norway moves into the consolation rounds of the 9th-16th place classification bracket. The Norwegians will play Mongolia, who lost to Germany, 101-68, with the winner playing for 13th place.
Consolation Semifinals: Norway 83, Mongolia 54 -- Final Box Score
Bolin and the Norwegians put on a dominating performance in an 83-54 victory over Mongolia on Monday to advance to the 13th place game. Norway led 18-2 after the opening five minutes and held a 26-6 advantage after the first quarter. Bolin started and played 19 minutes, going 4-of-7 from the field for nine points; he also dished out five assists, grabbed four rebounds, recorded three steals and had three blocked shots.
Norway will play one final contest at the World University Games as it faces South Korea on Tuesday with the winner taking 13th place.
13th Place Game: Norway 79, South Korea 77 -- Final Box Score
In its closest game of the tournament, Norway edged South Korea, 79-77, to claim 13th in the men’s basketball tournament at the World University Games. As he has done throughout the tournament, Bolin started for the Norwegians and played 23 minutes. Though he struggled shooting, going just 1-of-7 and scoring four points, Bolin added five rebounds, three assists, three steals and two blocked shots.
In eight tournament games, Bolin averaged 19 minutes per contest, scoring 5.1 points and pulling down 3.1 rebounds per game. Bolin shot 38 percent from the field (16-of-42) while dishing out 14 assists and recording a team-high tying 10 steals.