Sept. 1, 2005
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (August 31, 2005-from USA Basketball) -- The Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde showing by the USA continued Wednesday night at the FIBA Americas Men's World Championship Qualifying Tournament as Argentina (4-1) pulled away late and went on to record an 84-67 victory. The win improved Argentina to 4-1 in the second round standings and the Americans' record fell to 3-2.
UCLA great Tyus Edney (UCLA '95) once again started for the USA at point guard - playing 24 minutes, with 11 points (2-8, 0-2, 7-8), three rebounds and a team-high three assists.
The USA continues second round play Thursday facing Uruguay (0-5), who narrowly fell 101-99 to Venezuela (4-1) in the day's opening game. In other second round play Wednesday, Puerto Rico (2-3) finished strong to take a 107-101 double overtime victory from Brazil (3-2), while Panama improved to 2-3 after knocking off host Dominican Republic (2-3) 88-78 in the day's nightcap.
The tournament's top four finishing teams (in addition to Argentina who has already qualified by virtue of winning the 2004 Olympics) will automatically qualify for the 2006 FIBA World Championship that is being held in Japan (Aug.19-Sept. 3, 2006).
"Once again we came out after a great game and we were really flat and didn't shoot the ball well," said USA head coach Mo McHone. "Argentina came out with an adjustment and played us with a box-and-one against Charlie Bell and I didn't think we handled it very well.
"We had a lot of wide open shots, a lot of easy shots and just didn't make them. We didn't have the energy and that's been a problem we've had. Every time we've played well we've come back with a flat effort and I just don't understand it.
"Argentina really controlled the tempo of the game. They came out and made it a very slow game, it was not a very exciting game, and it wasn't a fun game to watch. It was kind of an ugly game and they out-uglied us I guess is the way I see it." The first two quarters saw neither team shoot well. Following a Charlie Bell (Leche Rio-Spain/Michigan State '01) jumper that gave the U.S. a 12-10 advantage, Argentina went on an 8-0 run during which Herman Jansen scored six points to take an 18-12 lead.
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