US rolls past Panama 88-58 for 1st win at AmeriCup tourney

Sep 5, 2022, 4:22 AM | Updated: 6:02 pm

RECIFE, Brazil (AP) — The plan Alex Jensen laid out for the team USA Basketball sent to the AmeriCup tournament was simple. Get better every day, and let the results take care of themselves.

It seems to be working.

Norris Cole scored 17 points, Craig Sword added 11 and the U.S. got its first win of this year’s AmeriCup by rolling past Panama 88-58 on Monday. The Americans (1-1) led by as many as 38 points, never trailed and outscored Panama 48-9 from 3-point range.

“We’ve got to peak at the right time,” said Jensen, the U.S. coach. “I think we took a step in that direction tonight.”

The U.S. opened AmeriCup with a six-point loss to Mexico and has been rolling since. The Americans led Venezuela 48-21 at halftime Sunday before rain caused some leaks and forced the game to be stopped; that contest will resume Tuesday.

Combine that score with Monday’s effort, and the U.S. has outscored foes 136-79 in its last six quarters.

“I thought we got better,” Jensen said.

Jeremy Pargo scored 10 points and Gary Clark had 11 rebounds for the U.S., which will have Wednesday off before a quarterfinal matchup against a to-be-determined opponent.

“We’re just focused on us and who we have to play,” Cole said. “We’re not looking ahead. We’re taking it game by game. I take the scouting report game by game.”

Isaac Hall Machore led Panama with 12 points. At 0-3, Panama was eliminated.

Venezuela (2-0) got an 80-74 win over Mexico (2-1) on Monday, which opens the door for the U.S. to win a three-team tiebreaker and end this stage atop Group C.

Also Monday, in Group A, host Brazil (3-0) finished group play perfect with a 76-66 win over Uruguay (0-3). And Canada (2-1) topped Colombia 62-61, taking the lead on a free throw by Trae Bell-Haynes with 1.8 seconds left to cap a comeback from 16 points down.

Colombia fell to 1-2.


Other than the U.S.-Venezuela resumption, there are two games Tuesday, both in Group B. The Virgin Islands (0-2) faces Puerto Rico (1-1), and the Dominican Republic (1-1) meets Argentina (2-0).

The Virgin Islands needs a win to have any chance of advancing.

There are no games Wednesday. Quarterfinal games — featuring the top two teams in each group, plus the two best third-place teams — start Thursday.


More AP sports: and

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Turkey OKs sending troops to Qatar for World Cup security

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey’s parliament on Wednesday approved deploying Turkish soldiers to Qatar to help maintain security during next month’s World Cup. With a show of hands, lawmakers approved a motion to send an unspecified number of troops to the Gulf country for six months. Fikri Isik, a ruling party legislator and former Turkish […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Marathon at 2024 Paris Olympics announced; lots of uphill

PARIS (AP) — The marathon course at the 2024 Paris Olympics will include a strength-draining 438 meters of uphill racing, a punishing test of endurance that organizers proudly described Wednesday as “a challenge without precedent.” And for the first time at the Olympics, female marathoners will get the privilege of competing last, on the final […]
1 day ago
FILE - San Diego Padres starting pitcher Joe Musgrove, second from left, is mobbed by teammates aft...
Associated Press

No-No Joe Musgrove wants a championship for hometown Padres

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Joe Musgrove took a moment away from the mayhem of the clubhouse celebration after the San Diego Padres clinched a playoff spot to reflect on where his career has been and where he wants it to go. The big right-hander will forever be remembered as the hometown kid who threw the […]
1 day ago
Portuguese Soccer Federation President Fernando Gomes, left, President of the Spanish Royal Federat...
Associated Press

Ukraine links World Cup host bid to beating horrors of war

NYON, Switzerland (AP) — Hosting World Cup matches in 2030 would be “the dream of people who survived the horrors of war,” Ukrainian soccer federation president Andriy Pavelko said Wednesday after his country launched a joint bid with Spain and Portugal. The leaders of the three soccer federations joined together at UEFA headquarters to present […]
1 day ago
Men weep as they offer prayer outside Kanjuruhan Stadium where a soccer stampede killed more than 1...
Associated Press

Indonesian leader says locked gates contributed to deaths

MALANG, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo said on Wednesday that locked gates had contributed to the crush at the soccer stadium that left 131 dead and over 400 injured when police fired tear gas and set off a panicked run for the exits. Widodo made the statement after touring the Kanjuruhan soccer stadium […]
1 day ago
Fans reach for a foul ball by New York Yankees' Aaron Judge during the second inning in the second ...
Associated Press

Fan who caught Judge’s 62nd HR unsure what he’ll do with it

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — As he walked through a concourse in the outfield at Globe Life Field, high-fiving with fans and surrounded by a sea of cameras, it was almost as if Cory Youmans had hit a huge home run. Instead, he hit the jackpot. Youmans made the catch of a lifetime Tuesday night, snagging […]
1 day ago
US rolls past Panama 88-58 for 1st win at AmeriCup tourney