Dickau Comes Off Bench To Score 11 Points

Aug. 23, 2001

BEIJING, China - Using a well-rounded team effort, the USA (2-0) extended its winning streak to 42-0 at the World University Games with a 118-56 victory over South Africa (0-2) on Thursday afternoon in Beijing.

University of Maryland's Juan Dixon (Baltimore, Md.) and Fresno State University's Melvin Ely (Harvey, Ill.) paced the USA's offensive attack, that saw every member of the team score, with 19 points apiece. The United States will close preliminary round play on Aug. 24 against Turkey (1-0), which faces off against Iran in today's second Group B game. The top two teams from each of the eight preliminary round groups will advance to the medal quarterfinals round, slated to be played Aug. 26-28 with the semifinals scheduled for Aug. 30 and the finals will be contested on Aug. 31.

Gonzaga University guard Dan Dickau came off the bench to play 20 minutes, hitting 5-of-10 shots from the field, 0-for-3 from 3-point range and 1-for-1 from the free throw line for 11 points. He also contributed 2 assists and a steal to the winning effort.

"I was disappointed in the way we played early on in the game," said USA and Penn State University head coach Jerry Dunn. "I didn't think our intensity level and concentration was there, not to my expectations. Especially in the first half. We played very poorly in the first half, but in the second half we played a lot better. My expectation is to put 40 minutes together. That includes the things that we do on the defensive end, as well as on offense, as a team. Offensively I thought we scored fairly well, but defensively was my biggest concern. We didn't set the tone defensively early on. It was not the style of play that I would like to exhibit. In the second half I was relatively pleased with our defense."

The United States never trailed, but got off to a slow start against South Africa and held a 16-12 lead with 4:03 remaining in the first quarter. Fueled by five points from Dixon, and a steal each by Dixon and Roger Mason, Jr. (Virginia / Silver Spring, Md.), the U.S. notched the game's next seven points to jump ahead 23-12 at 3:15. The South Africans wouldn't bow out as they closed to 23-16 over the next 1:20. However, Justin Reed (Mississippi / Jackson, Miss.) and Mason combined for the first quarter's final seven points to push the USA's lead to 30-16 at the end of the first quarter.

"The teams out here are not going to just let us walk over them," said Ely. "Everybody has a lot of pride and they're going to go out and play us as hard as they can. So the way they came out and played us didn't shock me. We have to be better prepared for it tomorrow."

Both teams swapped baskets in the second quarter and with 4:50 to go until halftime, South Africa trailed by 13 points, 38-25. The USA's offense, which committed six of its 14 total turnovers in the first quarter alone, was sparked by its defense and scored 11 unanswered points to pull safely ahead 49-25. Fueled by a trio of steals on the defensive end, Lynn Greer (Temple / Philadelphia, Pa.) and Antwain Barbour (Wabash Valley / Elizabethtown, Ky.) scored five and four points, respectively, during the offensive spurt. Following a South African three-point play, the red, white and blue closed the half with a 9-0 run to put the game out of reach, 58-30, at the half.

The United States continued to increase its lead in the second half, outscoring South Africa 30-16 in the third quarter and 30-10 in the fourth, running away with the 118-56 victory.

"I didn't know too much about South Africa coming into today's game," said Mason. "But they played real hard and kept the game scrappy. It's tough out here early on. In the first half we didn't match their intensity and that goes back to us playing at the level of our competition. In the second half, coach got on us a little bit and we wanted to come out and play harder and match their intensity and we did that."

In addition to 19 points each from Dixon and Ely, Greer checked in for 17 points and Mason chalked up 12. Dixon was credited for game highs of five assists and six steals, Ely blocked a game high three shots, while Chris Owens (Texas / Duncanville, Texas) swiped 10 rebounds and added nine points.

The United States shot a stellar 63.8 percent from the field, while its defense held South Africa to just 38.9 percent from the floor. The U.S. outrebounded its opponents 37-17 and forced 29 turnovers on 22 steals.

Dunn is being assisted on the sidelines by collegiate head coaches Rod Barnes from the University of Mississippi and Al Skinner from Boston College (Mass.).

The World University Games, held every two years, is a multisport competition open to athletes between the ages of 17 and 28 (born between Jan. 1, 1973 and Dec. 31, 1983), who are, or have been within the past year, a student at a college or university.

With the win, the U.S. improved its winning streak at the World University Games to 42, dating back to the 1989 WUGs. Having captured six consecutive gold medals, the USA has been a dominating force at the WUGs since beginning play in 1965. The U.S. has earned an incredible 16 medals in as many appearances at the Games, including 12 golds, three silvers and one bronze, and lists an amazing 1106 (.984 winning percentage) record at the event.

In other preliminary round action today Ukraine downed Bulgaria 84-48 and Sweden surged past Mexico 97-78, while the rest of the competition will play this evening.

 

 

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