U.S. blows out Venezuela 101-49, advances to AmeriCup quarterfinals

RECIFE, Brazil -- Halftime took two days, which was about the only challenging part for the U.S. in its final game of group play at the AmeriCup tournament.

Everything else seemed easy.

Craig Sword scored 19 points, Anthony Lamb added 15 and the U.S. rolled into the AmeriCup quarterfinals by topping Venezuela 101-49 in a game that started Sunday, was interrupted because of leaks caused by rain, then resumed 48 hours later -- with both teams playing a separate game in between.

"Definitely a first for me," Lamb said.

The U.S. lead was 48-21 when play was stopped Sunday; the Americans then beat Panama on Monday, while Venezuela defeated Mexico. And on Tuesday, to win a three-team tiebreaker atop Group C with Mexico and Venezuela, all the U.S. needed was to finish off a victory by seven points.

The Americans won by 52 instead.

"I was happy with our guys," U.S. coach Alex Jensen said. "It's hard to play a half of a game, then come back and play the other half, especially because in the first half we played so well and then Venezuela had the good game against Mexico. I was proud of our guys to come back and pick up where we left off."

There were two games later Tuesday, both in Group B. The Virgin Islands (0-3) lost 76-73 and was eliminated from quarterfinals contention by Puerto Rico (2-1), and Argentina (3-0) got a 90-78 win over the Dominican Republic (1-2).

For the U.S., the 52-point margin was its biggest in an AmeriCup game since a 123-59 victory over the Virgin Islands in 2007. That team featured NBA players -- Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Jason Kidd among them -- prepping for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

This AmeriCup team is composed mostly of G Leaguers and players who have been or will continue to play internationally this coming season.

"We've got a bunch of guys who can score, a bunch of guys who can be really efficient," Lamb said.


There are no games Wednesday. All four quarterfinal games are Thursday, with semifinals on Saturday, and the championship and third-place games on Sunday.

Thursday's quarterfinals, FIBA said, will have No. 1 Brazil versus No. 8 Dominican Republic, and No. 4 Mexico versus No. 5 Canada in the top half of the bracket. In the bottom half of the bracket, No. 2 Argentina will meet No. 7 Venezuela and the U.S., seeded No. 3, will play No. 6 Puerto Rico.