Carter Starts In Team USA's Goodwill Games Opener

July 20, 1998

NEW YORK - Ole Miss senior guard Keith Carter started Sunday for the USA Men's Basketball Goodwill Games Team in its preliminary round opener against Puerto Rico.

Carter scored six points, hitting 2-of-5 from three point range, grabbed one rebound and recorded one assist. However, the more experienced Puerto Rico team used a 32-8 run in the second half to rally from 19 points down to defeat Team USA 84-76.

Carter gave Team USA its largest lead of the first half at 35-22 by drilling a three-pointer with 5:32 left to play in the half. The USA squad led 42-30 at the break and built a 55-36 when Utah guard Andre Miller buried a 12-foot jump shot with 15:07 to play. However, Puerto Rico answered with an 18-6 run to pull within nine points, 61-52, with 12:01 remaining. Puerto Rico then raced back with a 14-2 run and gained its first lead of the game, 72-69, with 5:42 left to play when Javier Colon converted a long three-pointer.

Eddie Casiano led Puerto Rico with a game-high 31 points, scoring 26 of them in the second half. Teammate Jose Ortiz, formerly a member of the NBA's Utah Jazz, scored 13 of his 17 points and gathered seven of his 10 rebounds after halftime.

This is nearly the same Puerto Rico squad that captured the gold medal at the 1994 Goodwill Games and will represent Puerto Rico at the World Basketball Championships in Athens, Greece.

Duke's Elton Brand led all U.S. players with 24 points and 10 rebounds. Miami, Ohio's Wally Szcerbiak was the only other American player with double figures in points with 12.

Team USA will next take on China at 8 p.m. (CDT) on Monday in its second preliminary round contest, before completing preliminary round play against Brazil Tuesday night at 8 p.m. (CDT). The top two teams from each of the four-team groups at the 1998 Goodwill Games will advance into medal round play, for which semifinals begin on Thursday. The bronze and gold medal games will be played at 6 p.m. (CDT) and 8 p.m. (CDT), respectively, on Friday.

 

 

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