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Argentina Upsets United States, 74-70, in World Basketball Championships

July 14, 1986| Associated Press

OVIEDO, Spain — Argentina shocked the United States, 74-70, Sunday in the semifinal round of the World Basketball Championships.

It was the Argentines' fourth victory and the Americans' first loss in the 15-day round-robin tournament.

Each team plays two more games in the semifinal round in Oviedo before the championship round begins Thursday in Madrid.

The United States must win the next two games against Canada and Yugoslavia to have a chance at the gold medal.

The defending champion Soviet Union, playing in the other semifinal grouping in Barcelona, is one of the favorites.

The American team, coming off an impressive, 86-64, rout over Italy last Thursday, was a different squad against the inspired Argentines, whose only previous loss was against Yugoslavia.

Forward Charles Smith of Pittsburgh led the U.S. scoring with 17 points. Center David Robinson of Navy had 13 points, but he missed 8-of-12 shots from the field and 4-of-9 from the line.

Argentina was led by guard Esteban Camissasa with 21 points and 6 rebounds and guard Carlos Romano with 16 points.

The Americans made only 14-of-30 free throws as the partisan Argentine crowd whistled and jeered every time they stepped to the line.

"It doesn't take a whole lot of looking to see why we lost," said U.S. Coach Lute Olson of Arizona. "We missed 16 free throws. There's no question that was the difference."

The U.S. squad didn't fare much better from the field, hitting only 41%. The Argentines connected on 50% of their field-goal attempts and 80% (17 of 21), from the free-throw line.

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