Ribeirao Preto, Brazil Sparked by late three-point plays by Jason Richardson and Kenny Satterfield, the 2000 USA World Championship for Young Men Qualifying Team edged Argentina, 83-78, Friday.
With the win, the USA (3-0) advances to semifinal action in the 2000 Confederation of Pan American Basketball Associations (COPABA) World Championship for Young Men Qualifying Tournament as the top seed in Group A. The Americans will play either Brazil or the Dominican Republic in the semis tonight.
Kansas University's Nick Collison scored nine points with seven rebounds in 26 minutes, while Drew Gooden missed five shots in 20 minutes. He did not score while grabbing three rebounds.
"Argentina is probably the best team here, along with Brazil, and we were in a dogfight from the beginning," USA coach Jim Boeheim said. "It was just one of those games where we were never able to get in front until right at the end. You have to give Argentina a lot of credit, they played us tougher than anyone's played us in this tournament. We had to fight for our lives. Our defense was outstanding in the second half."
Argentina's Luis Scola had 19 points in the first half. KU's Collison held him to just two points in the final half, earning the praise of Boeheim.
Down 49-45 at half, the United States took a two-point lead with four minutes to go after Richardson snared an errant pass and tossed the ball to Satterfield for a jumper which put the U.S. on top 74-72. Argentina missed its next three shots, but managed to grab the rebounds and with 2:25 to go, Scola drove to the lane for two and was fouled by Satterfield.
After missing the bonus shot, Argentina again was there for the offensive board and Satterfield picked up his fourth foul, sending Martin Leiva to the line.
He made both free throws and Argentina held the lead 76-74 with 2:19 remaining.
After Richardson, who was fouled attempting a jumper, made the second of his tries, Argentina turned the ball over, but the United States was unable to score as Jason Williams missed a three-pointer.
With 1:13 left, Leiva scored two for Argentina to put his team up by three, 78-75. Argentina would not score again.
Richardson nailed a three-pointer with one minute remaining and following an Argentina turnover, Satterfield was fouled while driving to the basket and converted his extra shot for the three-point play to put the USA on top 81-78 at :21.6.
Argentina missed a desperation three on the other end and Richardson scored two to conclude the scoring with 8.6 seconds remaining as the USA came away with the narrow 83-78 victory.
"I was open and I've been practicing that shot in practice," said Richardson about his late three. "I was looking down at the floor and they were coming up at me and I just shot it. I've been practicing that for awhile and it finally paid off. There was a lot of pressure on that one, it was a big shot that tied the game and I'm just glad it went in."
"I was just trying to get the shot off and luckily it went in," said Satterfield. "Argentina is a pretty good team, we didn't really distract them that much in the first half. We just had to pick it up on the defensive rebounds. Coach told us (in a late time out) that we just had to make some big plays, that the game wasn't over and there was enough time to win it. Now we just have to come out tomorrow and play hard."
Richardson led the U.S. with 18 points and nine rebounds, while Williams was the only other U.S. scorer in double digits with 17 points and passed off for a game high five assists.
The USA, which got into foul trouble early, was without the services of
Brian Cook and Bobby Simmons were in foul trouble throughout the second half as both were whistled for four fouls in the first period and closed the night with five players who committed four fouls.
Argentina took advantage of the USA's foul trouble, converting on 20-of-25 free throws in the first half and finished the game with 25 points from the line, nearly a third of its point total.
University of Arkansas standout Joe Johnson (Little Rock, Ark.) sprained his left ankle in the USA's July 18 practice and is listed as day-to-day.