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USA Men Handle Brazil 83-59 to Open World Championships




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July 29, 1998

ATHENS, Greece - Despite missing its first six shots from the field, the USA World Championship Team shook off its frigid start to open the 13th FIBA World Championship in Athens, Greece, with an 83-59 victory over Brazil (0-1) Wednesday night. USA forward Wendell Alexis (Alba Berlin, Germany / Syracuse '86) led the U.S. offensive attack scoring 13 points while adding eight rebounds. Guard Michael Hawkins (Olympiakos, Greece / Xavier '95), tallied 12 points and passed for a USA World Championship single game record 10 assists (the previous record was 7 assists by three different players in 1990), while Brad Miller (Purdue '98) finished with 12 points in 12 minutes of action.

Former Texas Tech All-American Jason Sasser started and scored nine points for the USA.

"We stuck with our defensive plan and that was the key to the game, defense, holding them to under 60 points. What we saw tonight is that we are a team that is 12 deep. Depth is one of our strengths. To me the starting lineup is just the guys who start the game, and they're good, but I also rely on the other guys who don't start," said Rudy Tomjanovich, USA head coach. I'm just very pleased with the way our bench came in. But like I said...defense was key to the game.

"We came out early and were a little sluggish, we were playing good basketball but we couldn't put the ball in the basket. I felt that our guys hung in there and all along we've been preaching defense and defense has to be our foundation, so when the shots weren't falling our defense kept us in the game. We have to win as a team. I don't know if we have a dominating player so on different nights it's going to be different players. Tonight I felt Michael Hawkins did a tremendous job running the ball club and set a record for assists for a USA World Championship team with 10. And also I felt our three centers, Gerard King, Ashraf Amaya and Brad Miller played solid games.

With 11 of the 12 USA players scoring, including three in double digits, the USA victory was the result of defense and depth. The USA defense held Brazil to 37.7 percent (20-53 FGs) shooting from the field for the game and limited the South Americans to only seven field goals in the second half and a frigid 26.9 percent (7-26 FGs) from the floor in the half. Shooting 50.0 (32-64 FGs) from the field on the night, the USA forced 16 turnovers while committing just 10, and also dominated the glass out rebounding Brazil 43 to 32.

"First of all, it's like coach said, we started off sluggish and I think the guys were just anxious, including myself. We were ready to start, we were tired of practicing and we needed some new faces. In the second half we came through and played a little better on defense and our defense got our offense going," remarked Hawkins.

The USA missed its first six shots from the field and Brazil slipped out to a 6-1 advantage with 17:34 to play in the opening half. Brazil led 22-17 with 7:50 left in the first stanza, and with 4:42 to go before half, still was ahead 27-24. The U.S. took control of the game after reeling off 11 straight points to go up 35-27 with 2:00 until halftime, then Duke senior Trajan Langdon connected on his second three-pointer of the half with 20 seconds left to send the U.S. to the locker room leading 40-32.

Brazil made back-to-back three pointers to close within six, 46-40 with 16:24 left in the game, but an 11-2 run by the USA pushed its lead to 57-42. Brazil pulled to within 10, 61-51 with 9:07 left, but a 10-1 offensive run by the U.S. ended Brazil's hopes for victory and the U.S. rolled along for the 83-59 win.

On Thursday (July 30), 5:30 p.m. (Athens' time), the USA will meet Lithuania, also 1-0, at Peace & Friendship Stadium. Lithuania earlier in the day easily defeated South Korea 97-56. Lithuania's roster includes former Seton Hall University standout and 1996 EuroLeague Player of the Year Arturas Karnisovas and current U.S. collegian Sarunas Jasikevicius (Maryland).

"I did get to watch the first game tonight, Lithuania against South Korea, and I think they (Lithuania) are a very strong shooting team and that is our main concern, their shooting. Tonight I will go back and watch several video tapes and get a better feel and come up with our game plan," added Tomjanovich.

The 13th FIBA Men's World Championship are being held July 29-August 9 in Athens with teams from 16 countries competing for the gold medal. The United States continues its world Championship preliminary round play versus Lithuania on July 30 and on July 31 meets South Korea. Second Round Group play is slated to be conducted August 2-4, with quarterfinals, semifinals and finals action to be held August 7-9.

1998 FIBA MEN'S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
OFFICIAL BASKETBALL BOX SCORE - Athens, Greece

FINAL BOX

VISITORS: United States Men's World Championship Team (1-0)

NO NAME              FG FGA 3P 3PA FT FTA OR DR TOT  PF PTS  A TO BK  S MIN 
 5 Michael Hawkins    3   3  0   0  6   7  2  5   7   2  12 10  1  0  0  26
 7 Jason Sasser       4  11  0   1  1   2  1  3   4   2   9  0  0  0  0  15
10 Jimmy Oliver       1   7  0   4  0   0  1  2   3   2   2  1  0  0  2  17
12 Gerard King        4   6  0   0  0   0  3  6   9   1   8  0  0  0  1  15
13 Dave Wood          0   3  0   2  0   0  0  1   1   3   0  0  1  1  1  11 
 4 Trajan Langdon     2   2  2   2  0   0  0  0   0   0   6  1  0  0  1   7
 6 Kiwane Garris      1   3  0   1  0   0  0  0   0   5   2  2  3  0  0  13
 8 Jimmy King         3   4  0   1  1   3  1  3   4   2   7  2  2  0  0  23
 9 Bill Edwards       2   6  1   4  0   2  1  1   2   1   5  1  2  0  1  19
11 Wendell Alexis     5  12  2   4  1   4  6  2   8   1  13  0  2  1  0  26
14 Ashraf Amaya       3   3  0   0  1   2  1  3   4   1   7  1  0  1  1  16
15 Brad Miller        4   4  0   0  4   5  0  0   0   1  12  1  0  1  1  12
   TOTALS            32  64  5  19 14  25 17 26  43  21  83 19 11  4  8 200 

FG% 1st: 12-23 (.522%) 2nd: 20-41 (.488%) Game: 32-64 (.500%) 3P% 1st: 3-9 (.333%) 2nd: 2-10 (.200%) Game: 5-19 (.263%) FT% 1st: 7-15 (.467%) 2nd: 7-10 (.700%) Game: 14-25 (.560%)

HOME: Brazil World Championship Team (0-1)

NO NAME              FG FGA 3P 3PA FT FTA OR DR TOT  PF PTS  A TO BK  S MIN 
 6 Caio Cazziolato    4   8  1   2  2   2  1  4   5   4  11  1  6  0  1  35
 7 Joao Vianna        5   8  0   0  1   1  3  3   6   5  11  0  4  2  0  21
 9 Dem. Ferraciu      1   8  0   1  0   0  0  4   4   3   2  4  3  0  1  22
12 Aristides Josuel   2   6  0   0  3   4  3  4   7   1   7  1  1  1  0  31
14 Rogerio Klafke     4  10  3   7  1   2  0  1   1   1  12  1  1  0  1  33 
 4 Marcelo Machado    0   0  0   0  0   0  0  0   0   0   0  0  0  0  0   4
 5 Andre Fonsecca     3   5  2   3  2   4  0  2   2   1  10  0  1  0  0  18
 8 Sandro Varejao     0   1  0   0  1   2  1  1   2   3   1  0  3  0  0   9
10 H. Garcia Rubens   0   1  0   0  0   0  0  0   0   0   0  0  0  0  0   3
13 Claudio Clemente   0   2  0   0  0   0  1  1   2   2   0  0  1  0  0  10
15 Joelcio Joerke     1   6  0   0  3   6  3  0   3   1   5  0  1  0  0  13
11 Marco Pegolo      DNP
   TOTALS            20  55  6  13 13  21 12 20  32  21  59  7 21  3  3 200 

FG% 1st: 11-22 (.500%) 2nd: 9-33 (.273%) Game: 20-55 (.364%) 3P% 1st: 2-7 (.286%) 2nd: 4-6 (.667%) Game: 6-13 (.462%) FT% 1st: 4-5 (.800%) 2nd: 9-16 (.563%) Game: 13-21 (.619%)

OFFICIALS SCORE 1st 2nd Final Michail Davydov (RUS) United States 40 43 83 Miguel Betancol (ESP) Brazil 32 27 59

1998 FIBA MEN'S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE

GROUP A            GROUP B              GROUP C              GROUP D
          W   L                 W   L                W   L               W   L
Italy     1   0    Russia       1   0   Lithuania    1   0   Spain       1   0
Greece    0   0    Yugoslavia   1   0   USA          1   0   Australia   0   0
Canada    0   0    Puerto Rico  0   1   Brazil       0   1   Argentina   0   0
Senegal   0   1    Russia       0   1   South Korea  0   1   Nigeria     0   1 

Preliminary Round

Wednesday, July 29

Olympic Stadium - Peace & Friendship
Lithuania 97, South Korea 56
Russia 83, Japan 58
USA 83, Brazil 59
Yugoslavia 80, Puerto Rico 66
Spain 80, Nigeria 68
Italy 76, Senegal 66
Australia - Argentina
Greece - Canada

Thursday, July 30

Olympic Stadium - Peace & Friendship
3:15 p.m.   Puerto Rico - Japan
            Brazil - South Korea
5:30 p.m.   Russia - Yugoslavia
            Lithuania - USA
7:45 p.m.   Canada - Senegal
            Argentina - Nigeria
10:00 p.m.  Italy - Greece
            Spain - Australia

Friday, July 31

Olympic Stadium - Peace & Friendship
3:15 p.m.   Brazil - Lithuania
            Japan - Yugoslavia
5:30 p.m.   South Korea - USA
            Puerto Rico - Russia
7:45 p.m.   Nigeria - Australia
            Canada - Italy
10:00 p.m.  Argentina - Spain
            Senegal - Greece

Preliminary - Second Round
(The top three teams from each Preliminary Round group qualify for the medal round)

   Group E   Group F
     A1        C1
     A2        C2
     A3        C3
     B1        D1
     B2        D2
     B3        D3

Sunday, August 2

Olympic Stadium - Peace & Friendship
5:30 p.m.     B1 - A3
              D3 - C1
7:45 p.m.     B2 - A2
              D2 - C2
10:00 p.m.    B3 - A1
              D1 - C3

Classification Round

3:15 p.m.     A4 - B4
              C4 - D4

Monday, August 3

Olympic Stadium - Peace & Friendship
5:30 p.m.     C1 - D2
              A3 - B3
7:45 p.m.     C3 - D3
              A2 - B1
10:00 p.m.    C2 - D1
              A1 - B2

Classification Round

Olympic Stadium - Peace & Friendship
3:15 p.m.    13th/14th Place: Winner A4-B4 vs. Winner C4-D4
             15th/16th Place: Loser A4-B4 vs. Loser C4-D4

Tuesday, August 4

Olympic Stadium - Peace & Friendship
5:30 p.m.       B2 - A3
                D1 - C1
7:45 p.m.       B3 - A2
                D2 - C3
10:00 p.m.   	B1 - A1
                D3 - C2

Quarterfinals
(The top four teams from Second Round group qualify for the medal quarterfinals round)

Friday, August 7

Olympic Stadium
3:15 p.m.       E1 - F4
5:30 p.m.       E3 - F2
7:45 p.m.       E2 - F3
10:00 p.m.      E4 - F1

Classification Round

Olympic Stadium
11:00 a.m.      E5 - F6
1:00 p.m.       E6 - F5

Semifinals

Saturday, August 8

Olympic Stadium
10:00 a.m.  11th/12th Place: Loser E5 - F6 vs. Loser E6 - F5
12:00 p.m.  9th/10th Place: Winner E5 - F6 vs. Winner E6 - F5
2:15 p.m.   Loser E1 - F4 vs. Loser E3 - F2
4:30 p.m.   Loser E2 - F3 vs. Loser E4 - F1
6:45 p.m.   Winner E1 - F4 vs. Winner E3 - F2
9:00 p.m.   Winner E2 - F3 vs. Winner E4 - F1

Finals

Sunday, August 9

Olympic Stadium
1:15 p.m.   7th/8th Place Game
3:30 p.m.   5th/6th Place Game
5:45 p.m.   Bronze Medal Game
8:00 p.m.   Gold Medal Game

NOTE: Game times listed are Athens time, which is 7 hours ahead of EDT


 

 

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