- Wednesday, August 11 1948 -
Olympic Games (at London, England)
United States - 71 (Head Coach: Omar (Bud) Browning)
Mexico - 40
|Jose Rojas Herrara||1||4||5||4||6|
|Isaac Alfara Loza||0||0||0||2||0|
|Alberto Bienvenu Bajaras||0||0||0||2||0|
|Jose Santos de Leon||3||2||2||3||8|
|Angel Acuna Lizana||4||1||3||1||9|
Halftime Score: United States 30, Mexico 15
Game Writeup - Allison Danzig, New York Times
United States Routs Mexico
KENTUCKIANS PACE 71-TO-40 TRIUMPH
Groza Scores 19 U.S. Points Against Mexican Quintet -- Referee Evicts Kurland
FRENCH TRIP BRAZIL, 43-33
Special to The New York Times
LONDON, Aug. 11 -- The American basketball team hurdled what had been fancied the biggest obstacle in its path to the Olympic championship with a crushing victor over Mexico, 71 to 40, to reach the final round tonight. In the other semi-final, France unexpectedly defeated Brazil, 43 to 33, and will play the United States Friday night for the title in an intercontinental final.
An American victory is looked upon as a foregone conclusion to add to our sweeping triumphs in men's track and field and swimming and diving, as well as eight-oared rowing.
For the first time in the tournament, Head Coach Omar (Bud) Browning and his assistant, Adolph Rupp, elected to send out one of their two teams intact instead of using a scrambled line-up comprising chiefly Phillips Oilers and University of Kentucky players. Rupp's Wildcats were called on to start and it was not until well in the second half that seven-foot Bob Kurland saw action, although other Oilers had got into the contest earlier.
The expectation is that the Phillips 66 team, which won the National Amateur Athletic Union title for the seventh time this year and defeated Kentucky's National Collegiate Athletic Association champions in the final of the Olympic tryout tournament at Madison Square Garden, will get the call at the opening whistle in the final.
Mexicans Fast and Aggressive
Alex Groza, Wallace (Wah Wah) Jones, Ralph Beard, Cliff Barker and Ken Rollins formed the starting line-up tonight and for the first ten minutes had a fight on their hands. The boys from across the Rio Grande, who entered the game unbeaten, showed a complete lack of respect for the fame of the Americans. Comparing favorably in height with their rivals, except for Groza and Jones, the Mexicans were so aggressive and fast and had so good an eye for the basket that the crowd in Harringay Arena was whipped up to a high state of excitement.
Mexico was first to score, dropping in a goal from the field immediately. After Jones had equalized and Barker had counted on a free throw, the lads from across the border went ahead again with a long set shot by Captain Santos de Leon, who was to give a good account of himself throughout.
The Kentuckians were not playing well, possibly because they were not quite sure of what the Italian and Egyptian officials expected. Unsettled at the start, they were uncertain and ragged in their combination play and could not locate the basket, particularly Beard.
Then the Americans found themselves and they moved with such speed, precision and cleverness in their passing that there was no stopping them. Big 6-foot 7-inch Groza was unbeatable in working with Jones and Beard in their fast-breaking set play which had ruined the opposition so many times during the American season.
Barker Suffers Mishap
From 6 to 5, the United States swept ahead to 13 to 5 with Groza laying them up and Barker and Jones also counting. Then Barker, racing down the court to take a pass under the basket, crashed into the backstop and his nose struck something hard, probably a two by four that was not properly padded.
Blood flowed from his nose which he had broken during the winter season, and Jesse Renick of the Oilers went in to take his place, the only new man Browning sent in during the first half. Whether the injury upset the Americans or the Mexicans took courage when Barker left the floor, the complexion of the game turned.
From a 13-6 deficit, Mexico pulled up to 13 to 12, Acuna Lizana throwing in two rather long one-handers that drew roars from the crowd. Again it looked as if a tight, hard-fought game was in prospect.
To this point is was definitely the best contest of the tournament with the Mexicans playing the game with a standard that most closely approximated that of the Americans. Argentina had held the United States to a 59-57 margin early in the tournament but the South Americans had not shown skill and speed to equal that of the Mexicans.
Our good neighbors and the crowd were speedily disillusioned if they entertained any idea that an American defeat might be in the making. From that point, Groza and Jones took charge on the offense and tallies soon followed one another so quickly that it soon became apparent that the only question was the ultimate score. Groza was always there for rebounds.
American Defense Effective
The Mexicans not only were unable to cope with the speed and accuracy of the United States' quick-breaking offense, but the American man-to-man defense was so effective that rival players could not get close to the basket. They were going for corners and shooting from far out and they were not hitting.
At half-time, the United States led, 30 to 14. When play was resumed, the same line-up was sent out that had finished the first half. Barker had re-entered the game in the last few minutes of the opening session as relief for Jones and he remained to begin the second half.
The Americans quickly increased their lead to 35 to 14 and then substitutes began to make their appearance. Ray Lumpp of New York University went in for Renick and was followed by Lew Beck and Gordon Carpenter of the Oilers.
The American attack continued in high gear as Beard found his eye and got into the scoring. Mexico did not score a field goal from the time it shot three in a row following the exit of Barker until near the middle of the second half.
With the score 48 to 25, Kurland went in for Groza. With all eyes on him, the big fellow scored on a free throw and then from the floor on a follow-up shot.
After tallying on two more layups, Foothills ran into a rival and sent him to the floor. Instantly there were boos and although there had been no intent on Kurland's part to injure his opponent, who jumped up unhurt, the referee took the rather high-handed action of sending him out of the game.
That gave an opportunity to Groza to re-enter and add to his total. As a result, the big Kentuckian displaced the Phillips giant as high scorer of the tournament. Tallying 19 points, Groza raised his total to 65, against 61 for Kurland, who accounted for 10, as also did Jones. Lizana was high man for Mexico with 9, followed by De Leon with 8.
France's victory over favored Brazil in the other semi-final was marked by scenes of wild excitement. The winning players hugged and kissed one another and danced in their joy while their countrymen in the stands cheered madly. Play became rough in the concluding stages, when the game was stopped a number of times and penalties inflicted.
Cliff Barker scores ahead of Mexico's Diaz