After picking up wins over Venezuela and Puerto Rico, the United States Pan-American Games team faced its stiffest test Thursday night as they took on Brazil. The Brazilians are a veteran group that plays well together, and that was certainly the case as they beat the Americans 93-83 in Toronto.
Vitor Benite proved near impossible for the United States to stop, as the 6-foot-2 guard tallied 34 points on 10-for-17 shooting, which included 8-for-11 from beyond the arc. Benite also grabbed seven rebounds, and as a team Brazil shot 53 percent from the field and 15-for-26 from three. That was too much to overcome for the United States, which made just six of its seventeen three-point attempts.
Keith Langford led the way offensively for the U.S. with 17 points, making all eight of his shots from the foul line, with Bobby Brown (16 points), Taurean Prince (16) and Anthony Randolph (15) also reaching double figures. But the caliber of looks the team was able to find was an issue, as they finished with a total of five assists to go along with ten turnovers.
By comparison, Brazil finished the night with 16 assists, with three players having three apiece, to 12 turnovers.
While the United States will advance to the semifinals of the event, the loss means that their road to a possible gold medal gets tougher. Next up for Few’s team is host Canada, which won all three of its games in group play. Three players who will play college basketball next season are on Jay Triano’s team: Oregon’s Dillon Brooks, Kentucky’s Jamal Murray and Gonzaga’s Kyle Wiltjer.
Brazil will take on the Dominican Republic in the Friday’s other semifinal.