USA Drops Bronze Medal Game to Venezuela
Sept. 6, 2005
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -- Despite 30 points and 14 rebounds from Kris Lang (Unicaja Malaga-Spain/North Carolina '02), the United States was unable to overcome Venezuela's clutch shooting and fell 93-83 in Sunday's bronze medal game of the FIBA Americas Men's World Championship Qualifying Tournament.
Brazil claimed the gold medal with an impressive 100-88 victory over Argentina in Sunday's gold medal game.
The U.S. shot 50.0 percent from the floor, but was only 7-of-21 from 3-point for 33.3 percent. Venezuela as a team shot 47.1 percent from the field overall and was 13-of-25 for a 52.0 shooting percentage from 3-point.
'Venezuela played a great game. I didn't think they played good today, I thought they played great. The way they shot the ball from the 3-point line, I kept telling my guys sooner or later they're going to start missing and they made a liar out of me because they never did start missing,' said USA head coach Mo McHone. 'I really felt like this was one of the better games we played the whole tournament. We played about as good as we can play and they were just better.'
'Their offense was so efficient and so good. With the clock running down, Diaz and Torres repeatedly made shots over our guys. We were right there, our defense was there, they were just bigger and made tough shots. I am not at all disappointed in the way we played today, I'm disappointed we lost, but I thought it was one of our better games. They just played a great game, what can you say? They earned the bronze medal.'
Behind six points from Lang, who was forced out of the USA's game Saturday night midway through the third quarter after suffering a sprained ankle, and five from forward Aaron McGhee (Pusan KTF-Korea/ Oklahoma '02), the U.S. opened up an 18-10 lead with 3:05 left in the opening quarter.
The USA ended the tournament with three consecutive losses - losing to Venezuela in the bronze medal contest; dropping a 93-75 contest to champion Brazil in a semifinal game on Sept. 3 and losing to Puerto Rico 88-83 on Sept. 2.
Bruin great Tyus Edney (UCLA'95) was one of only three players on the U. S. squad to start all 10 games. As the starting point guard, Edney averaged 22.7 minutes, 8.0 points (No. 6 on the team), 1.9 rebounds, a team-high 2.7 assists and 0.9 steals. He shot .467 (28-60) from the field, .200 (2-10) from three-point range and .880 (22-25) from the foul line.
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