USA Basketball Rolls Over Turkey 113-90
Aug. 24, 2001
BEIJING, China - In its third offensive onslaught in as many days, USA Basketball (3-0) ran away with a 113-90 victory over Turkey (2-1) in the World University Games on Friday afternoon in Beijing.
University of Maryland's Juan Dixon (Baltimore, Md.) finished as the USA's leading scorer with 20 points as a total of six players finished in double digits and everyone again scored. The United States closed the 2001 World University Games preliminary round at the top of Group B and will advance to the medal Quarterfinals Group K to will play three games Aug. 26-28 against South Korea (1-1) and two other opponents yet to be determined. The top team from Group K will then advance to the medal semifinals scheduled for Aug. 30 and the finals will be contested on Aug. 31.
Gonzaga University guard Dan Dickau played 23 minutes, going 1-for-8 from the field, 0-for-3 from 3 point range, scoring 2 points, handing out two assists and collecting one steal.
"Obviously we won, but we didn't play very well," said Dickau. "It's kind of disappointing that we didn't play as hard as we could for the full 40 minutes, especially towards the end, when Turkey kept playing hard throughout the whole game. We didn't sustain our energy like they did."
"We didn't really get up and down the floor as well as we were capable of doing today, said USA and Penn State University head coach Jerry Dunn. "I think, for the most part, my expectations personally may be a little bit loftier right now because we haven't completely gelled as a team. Certainly I think we have to use these three games, take some good things from them and use them next week when we start a different pool of play.
"Defensively we're not guarding the way we need to - to not only win a championship, but be in that particular game (gold medal game)," added Dunn. "We certainly have to get better on the defensive end. Offensively I think from time to time we show flashes of greatness when we're playing as a team, but that doesn't happen consistently enough to win."
Fresno State University center Melvin Ely (Harvey, Ill.) reeled off six straight points to start the contest and by the 7:50 mark, the U.S. held a 10-2 lead. Turkey shot a technical foul, whistled on Chris Owens (Texas / Duncanville, Texas) for hanging on the rim after a slam dunk, and followed that with a three-point play to get back in the game 10-6 at 7:36. Neither team was able to gain much momentum and with 4:47 to go in the first quarter the U.S. held a 17-12 upper hand. The red, white and blue took off on an 11-4 run, with the help of five points from Antwain Barbour (Wabash Valley / Elizabethtown, Ky.) and four from Lonny Baxter (Maryland / Silver Spring, Md.), to open up the game 29-19 with 39 seconds remaining in the period. Turkey made one of two shots from the line for the quarter's final points and as the buzzer sounded the U.S. was up 29-20.
Following a jumper by Turkey six seconds into the second quarter, the United States scored eight uncontested points, which came from four different players, to pull away 37-22 at 7:33. Turkey never got closer than 14 points and the USA closed the half with a 20-point, 59-39 advantage.
Dixon scored six of his 11 third quarter points and was credited for a steal in an 8-2 USA run that opened up the second half 67-42 with 7:30 to go in the third. By the time the third quarter buzzer sounded, the Americans were safely in front 85-58.
With six minutes to play in the contest, and the USA ahead 100-68, Turkey strung together a 20-7 run to close to 107-88 with 40.3 seconds to go in the game. But time ran out on the Turks' comeback attempt and the U.S. closed the game with its third victory in as many games.
"I thought we played well at times," said Dixon. "We kind of got sloppy. They scored a lot of points. Our goal is to hold people under 50 points. We didn't put together a good effort, but I think we learned from our mistakes and we'll do better next time."
In addition to Dixon's 20 points, the U.S. offense was fueled by 14 points apiece from Lynn Greer (Temple / Philadelphia, Pa.) and Roger Mason, Jr. (Virginia / Silver Spring, Md.), while Ely and Justin Reed (Mississippi / Jackson, Miss.) each tossed in 12 and Baxter posted a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Turkey's Tolga Tekinalp had a double-double with a game high 23 points and 10 rebounds.
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 43 games, 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 South Korea defeated Mexico 89-78 to take the second spot in Group D and will face the United States in the quarterfinal round. The remainder of today's games will determine the USA's quarterfinals round opponents.
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