SAITAMA, Japan (August 5, 2001) The Duke University duo of forward Carlos
Boozer (Juneau, Alaska) and guard Chris Duhon (Slidell, La.) scored 18 and
17 points respectively to lead the United States (3-0) to an 84-71 win
over previously unbeaten Argentina (2-1) Sunday night at the World
Championship For Young Men in Saitama, Japan. The victory keeps the USA on
top of the Group B preliminary round standings, tied with 3-0 Israel.
Following a day off Monday, the USA will resume preliminary round play
Tuesday, Aug. 7 facing host Japan (1-2) in a 6:10 p.m. (Tokyo local time)
"We just shot the ball well tonight. We weren't really quick to the ball,
we didn't get the loose balls, I thought they were a little bit quicker to
the ball then we were," said USA and Syracuse University (N.Y.) head coach
Jim Boeheim. "But the bottom line is we made a lot of shots, we made some
tough baskets inside, and we shot the ball well from the 3-point line and
that was really the difference in the game."
Argentina played short-handed as standout forward Luis Scola, who after
Argentina's first two games in the World Championship was averaging 33.0
points a game, sat out because of sprained ankle suffered in Saturday's
game. The game was also rematch of the two Americas powers. In last
summer's Americas World Championship For Young Men Qualifying Tournament in
Brazil, the USA recorded an 83-78 victory over Argentina in preliminary
play, but fell 92-77 in the tournament's gold medal contest.
"(Carlos) Delfino beat us last year down there, he made six 3-pointers, so
we wanted to do a better job of getting out on their shooters. They do a
very good job screening, but Chris (Duhon) and Troy (Bell) our guards got
through that better and we didn't let them get set up from the 3-point
line. I think that was the big lesson, not to let him get going," stated
Duhon and UCLA's Jason Kapono (Lakewood, Calif.) each connected on their
first two 3-point shots as the USA sprinted out to an 18-5 lead with 4:45
to play in the first quarter. Argentina rallied back and at the end of the
first period the USA lead stood at just two points, 25-23.
U.S. guard Jameer Nelson (St. Joseph's / Chester, Pa.) scored the second
quarter's first four points as the USA outscored Argentina 9-2 to take
control 34-25. With the U.S. leading 45-39, Argentina was called for a
charge with just under five seconds left in the second quarter and the U.S.
made them pay as Boozer dropped a baseline jumper with one tick left in the
quarter to give the U.S. a 47-39 lead at halftime.
The USA upped its lead to 62-48 with 5:32 to go in the third, but Argentina
countered with nine straight points to close the gap to 62-57. With the
U.S. holding a 64-60 advantage late in the third period, Duhon hit a
3-pointer with 31 seconds left and Brian Cook (Illinois / Lincoln, Ill.)
did the same with 4.4 seconds remaining to lift the USA to a 70-61 lead.
Argentina never got closer than seven from that point and the USA never led
by more than 15 before settling for the 84-71 win.
"I think we got out hustled a little bit, but we made up for it by knocking
down big shots and making big plays in crucial situations," commented
Duhon. "We made two huge plays at the end of the half and at the end of
the third quarter that gave us an energy boost and just a little bit more
of a lead.
"The ball was falling in for me tonight," admitted Duhon. "I think what
helped was I got a lot of extra shots up before the game, and got
comfortable and into a good rhythm and it just carried over into the game."
Boozer finished the night with a game high 18 points on 9-for-11 shooting
from the field and added five rebounds. Duhon, who had made 2-of-9
3-point shots in the USA's first two games, connected on 4-of-7 and
finished with 17 points, and team highs of eight rebounds, five assists and
four steals in 35 minutes. Duhon's four steals tied a USA single game
record for most steals (tying him with Corey Brewer, 4 steals versus Turkey
in 1997, and Steve Woodberry, 4 steals versus Angola in 1993). Also aiding
the USA in the victory were Kapono, 10 points and four rebounds, and Cook,
The American team made a sizzling 10-of-18 from 3-point for 55.6 percent,
and on the night made 50.0 percent (32-64 FGs) of its shots, while
Argentina made just 4-of-19 3-pointers and shot 38.6 percent (27-70 FGs)
overall. The USA committed 20 turnovers, but outrebounded Argentina 43 to
In other preliminary round play Sunday, in Group B, Israel (3-0) remained
undefeated after disposing off Croatia (0-3) 82-70, and host Japan (1-2)
earned its first win after slipping past South Korea (0-3) 111-108 in two
overtimes. In a showdown of undefeated teams in Group A, Slovenia (3-0)
earned a 74-64 win over Spain (2-1), Egypt (1-2) outscored Qatar (0-3)
79-64 to earn its first win, and Australia (2-1) dominated Dominican
Republic (1-2) 100-84.
The FIBA World Championship For Young Men is being held August 3-12 in
Saitama, Japan and features 12 teams that are divided into two preliminary
round pools consisting of six teams each.
The USA, after a day off Monday, resumes preliminary play Aug. 7 against
Japan, then concludes preliminary play against Israel on Aug. 8.
Quarterfinals play gets underway Aug. 10, with semifinals being conducted
Aug. 11 and the medal games being held Aug. 12.
Held every four years and originally designed for men 22-years-old or
younger, FIBA lowered the age eligibility to 21-years-old or younger in
Dec. 1998 and changed the competition name to the World Championship For
Young Men. The U.S. captured gold in the inaugural competition which was
held in 1993 in Spain and known as the FIBA 22 And Under World
Championship, and in 1997 in Melbourne, Australia, finished fifth with a