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PAN AM GAMES

U.S. Women Beat Brazil, Go for Gold

August 09, 2003|From Associated Press

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic — A big, controversial victory for the women's basketball team Friday and a bitter, controversial loss for wrestling star Cael Sanderson.

By beating Brazil, 75-69, in overtime, the U.S. advanced to the gold-medal game today. They will play Cuba, which beat Canada, 58-49.

The U.S. men fell to Brazil in the semifinals and then lost the bronze medal to Puerto Rico -- the first time since 1971 that they did not win a medal in the sport.

There were questions about the official scoring Friday.

The U.S. was credited with an extra point at the end of the first quarter. Brazil's coaches approached the scoring table after the quarter, but were satisfied with the explanation.

"There was a mistake that was corrected," Brazil Coach Antonio Carlos Barbosa said.

"Everything is fine. We are not filing any protest."

Still, play-by-play sheets compiled by USA Basketball and media members showed the Americans had only 14 points after the first quarter, not 15, as the official statistics indicated.

Stanford's Nicole Powell scored seven of her 17 points in overtime as the U.S. overcame a big height disadvantage. Texas star Jamie Carey had 18 points and seven assists.

Earlier, Sanderson, a four-time All-American who went through his entire stay at Iowa State without losing, was beaten, 3-2, in overtime by Cuba's Yoel Romero. It was the second time this year Romero, the world silver medalist and 1999 world champion, beat Sanderson.

Although he controlled the action, Sanderson trailed, 2-1, after regulation; a wrestler must have at least three points to win. In overtime, Sanderson broke a hold by Romero to tie it.

Moments later, during an attack by Sanderson, both wrestlers wound up off the edge of the mat and the mat officials called for no scoring.

But international federation officials called for a look at a TV replay. After a lengthy delay, they ruled that Sanderson barely exposed his back in the scramble, giving Romero the third point he needed to win.

"I think it was so close," U.S. Coach Zeke Jones said. "I don't think the call is right because I don't think he exposed."

Sanderson won a bronze medal when his Venezuelan opponent forfeited.

Stephen Abas (Fresno), Joe Williams (Coralville, Iowa), Daniel Cormier (Stillwater, Okla.) and Kerry McCoy (Bethlehem, Pa.) all won gold medals. Jamill Kelly (Stillwater) won a silver medal. Eric Guerrero (Stillwater) won a bronze medal.

"Our guys wrestled with a lot of spirit and heart," Jones said.

The U.S. shooting team collected two more golds. William Johnson II (Woodville, Miss.), won an Olympic berth for the country, as well, in the 10-meter running target event, leading throughout. Armando Ayala (Columbus, Ga.) won the bronze.

Sandra Uptagrafft (Longmont, Colo.) beat Cuban Margarita Tarradell in a shootoff for the gold and Olympic spot in the 25-meter pistol. It was her first significant international victory.

"It means so much to me and my team," Uptagrafft said.

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