LIMA, Peru -- The United States men's basketball team, whose gold-medal drought at the Pan American Games was assured with a loss in the semifinals, nevertheless won a bronze medal Sunday with a 92-83 win over the Dominican Republic.
The tournament's youngest team -- a virtual roster of Big East Conference all-stars facing more experienced competition -- struggled with turnovers early on but turned it up in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Dominicans 15-4 to start the period. Seton Hall star Myles Powell's breakaway layup with just under three minutes left gave the U.S. an 83-73 lead and the insurance it needed to finish the game.
"That's one of the more prouder teams I've been involved with," U.S. coach Ed Cooley said after guiding the team to a 3-2 performance in Peru. The U.S. had preliminary-round victories over the Virgin Islands and Venezuela before losing a close game against Puerto Rico to wrap up pool play. The team was then overwhelmed in Saturday's semifinals 114-75 by an Argentina team that Cooley called one of the best he has coached against at any level.
The U.S. men have not won the gold medal at the Pan American Games since 1983. They won a silver in the previous Pan Ams in Toronto.
Argentina and Puerto Rico played for the gold medal later Sunday.
After two golds in the 3x3 format and a bronze with the men, the focus of American basketball now shifts to the women's tournament, which begins Tuesday.