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PAN AMERICAN GAMES

Gonzaga's Stepp Helps U.S. Beat Argentina

August 03, 2003|From Staff and Wire Reports

The United States rallied to defeat Argentina, 80-79, in its men's basketball opener Saturday in the Pan American Games at Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Blake Stepp of Gonzaga and Rickey Paulding of Missouri capped a U.S. comeback from an eight-point deficit in the fourth quarter.

With the score tied at 74, Stepp made a three-point basket with 1 minute 20 seconds remaining. Paulding's 14-footer with 18 seconds remaining gave the U.S. a five-point lead that held up.

Cuba's women's team, which swept a three-game series against the United States last month, beat the Americans, 84-62, outscoring them, 52-16, in the second half.

The United States women won the team gold in gymnastics as Nastia Liukin scored 37.474 in four events (uneven bars, floor exercise, balance beam, vault), the highest in the field. Chellsie Memmel, 15, of West Allis, Wis., had the second-highest score.

The U.S. men won bronze in team gymnastics. Cuba won gold and Brazil silver.

The United States got fencing gold medals from Dan Kellner of Warren, N.J. (men's foil) and Sada Jacobson of Dunwoody, Ga. (women's saber). Jason Turner of Rochester, N.Y., won a gold medal in shooting (men's 10-meter pistol).

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Miami Herald sportswriter Kevin Baxter had to be treated at a Santo Domingo hospital after two men on a motorcycle tried to steal his laptop computer as he walked to the media center Saturday morning, a block from Olympic Park.

When one of the men grabbed the strap of the computer, Baxter hung on and was dragged along the asphalt, causing cuts and bruises. He was treated and released.

Dominican officials have promised better security for the media.

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