Syracuse center Jesse Edwards shines in Netherlands loss to Czech Republic at EuroBasket

Syracuse, NY ― Syracuse center Jesse Edwards had his best performance in five games for the Netherlands national team in the EuroBasket Championship on Monday.

Edwards, a native of the Netherlands, scored 12 points and grabbed nine rebounds, but that wasn’t enough to prevent an 88-80 loss to the Czech Republic in Prague.

Edwards, a 6-foot-11 senior at Syracuse, had a perfect day of shooting, connecting on all four of his field goal attempts and going 4-for-4 from the free throw line. Along with his 12 points and nine boards, Edwards also had a blocked shot and an assist.

The 22-year-old Syracuse center took on Jan Vesely, the 32-year-old former NBA center from the Czech Republic.

Edwards’ play is a good sign after missing the final nine games of the 2021-22 season with a wrist injury. He averaged 12.0 points and 6.5 rebounds in Syracuse’s first 24 games. He had also been on pace to lead the ACC in field goal shooting (.695) and finished second in blocked shots.

The Netherlands trailed by 23 points at half-time, but rallied in the second half. Edwards, who had barely played earlier in the tournament, started the second half having collected eight points in the first half. The Dutch drew four points five minutes from the end of the fourth quarter.

A pair of free throws from Edwards cut the margin to 81-78 with 38 seconds left. But the Dutch couldn’t complete the comeback.

The defeat dropped the Netherlands’ record to 0-3 in EuroBasket 2022 Group D. Edwards also joined the Dutch national team for two FIBA ​​European Qualifying Tournament games ahead of EuroBasket 2022 The Netherlands will face Poland on Tuesday.

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