- Tuesday, August 3 1948 -
Olympic Games (at London, England)
United States - 59 (Head Coach: Omar (Bud) Browning)
Argentina - 57 (Head Coach: Fabian Crespo)
|Juan Carlos Uder||3||0||6|
|Leopoldo "Pichon" Contarbio||0||1||1|
|Ricardo Primitivo Gonzalez||3||4||10|
Halftime Score: Argentina 33, United States 26
Game Writeup - New York Times
American Rally Beats Argentina In Olympic Basketball, 59 to 57
Losers in Front at Half in Rough Contest, 33-26 - Lead Changes Hands Six Times - Kurland and Beard Inactive
LONDON, Aug. 3 (AP) - The United States basketball team that had been supposed to find the Olympics a breeze ran into a cyclone instead today and barely escaped with a 59-57 victory over Argentina.
Behind, 33-26, at the half and completely bewildered by the Argentines' surprising show of strength, the Americans simply bulled their way out of the jam.
The second half was rough, with guarding so tight, bodies constantly were banging into each other. Twice activities were interrupted by arguments over official rulings.
The Americans registered both protests. They complained the Argentines crowded them too closely under the goal during free throws. They also objected to the South Americans' final goal.
This was a looping shot taken by Ricardo Gonzalez, guard, just as the final gun sounded. The United States players contended it had been thrown too late. The officials held that it should count.
Lead Changes Hands Six Times
Six times the lead changed hands in the hard-driving battle and the United States did not go to the front to stay until only three minutes remained. A goal by the University of Kentucky's Alex Groza put the Americans ahead, 55-53, and they held the advantage despite the Argentines' rugged onslaughts.
America's galaxy of individual stars was dimmed by a rangy Argentine center named Oscar Furlong. Furlong not only spearheaded the South Americans' flashy floor game but scored 18 points to lead all single performances. He cashed in ten of his eleven tries form the free-throw lane.
United States Coach Omar (Bud) Browning called Furlong "one of the finest ball players I ever saw."
"He's like Jack McCracken (former Amateur Athletic Union star) in his heyday," the coach said. "If you took your eye off old Jack for a half a second he'd spurt past you. Furlong is the same way."
Manuel Guerrero, forward, scored 17 for the Argentines.
Carpenter and Barksdale Star
Gordon Carpenter of the Phillips Oilers and Donald Barksdale of the Oakland (Calif.) Bittners were America's leading scorers with 12 points each. Groza followed with 11.
Browning used ten men, the Olympic limit. He wasn't able to call on seven-foot Bob Kurland, the Phillips' scoring ace, when things got tough. Kurland was held out along with Jesse Renick of Phillips and the University of Kentucky's Cliff Barker and Ralph Beard.
The United States coach has been mixing up the squad in preliminary contest. When the championship flight begins, he plans to use the Oilers national A.A.U. champions from Bartlesville, Okla., and Kentucky College Kings as units.
Browning attributed the close squeeze to a series of mistakes and to the unexpectedly good showing of the opposition.
The triumph was the third for the United States in the round robin competition. The team has yet to play Peru and Egypt, two of the weaker members of Group C.
It was Argentina's first defeat, but the South Americans may get another shot at the United States squad. Two teams in each group qualify for the eight-team championship tournament.
Ray Lumpp (#24) grabs the ball away from the Argentinians while Alex Groza (#15) looks on