Having rolled through five opponents by a combined 251-point margin, Jarnell Stokes and Team USA were finally tested in the FIBA U19 World Championships.
The Americans battled past Serbia, 71-62, on Wednesday in Prague, Czech Republic, to advance to the quarterfinals with an unscathed 6-0 record intact.
Stokes, a Tennessee junior, was held scoreless for the first time in the tournament. He finished with five rebounds, four offensive, in just over 12 minutes of action.
Serbia (5-1) outscored the U.S. 21-15 in the third quarter, cutting the Americans’ 35-26 halftime lead to 50-47. The U.S. flipped the script in the fourth quarter, though, outscoring the Serbs 21-15 to end the game.
Jahlil Okafor led the Americans with 16 points.
Quarterfinal play in the tournament begins Friday with the U.S. facing Canada (3-3), which is led by Syracuse freshman point guard Tyler Ennis and Trey Lyles, one of the top forwards in the Class of 2014.
The game will stream live online at www.livebasketball.tv, as will Saturday’s semifinals and Sunday’s gold-medal game.