July 19, 2009
NETANYA, Israel -Russia grabbed a last-second rebound and scored the game-winning basket at the buzzer Sunday to hand Maccabi USA's Open Men's Basketball Team its first loss at the World Maccabiah Games, 73-71. The U.S. squad, led by Tennessee head coach Bruce Pearl, owns a 2-1 record in pool play at the Games and is still in contention for the gold medal.
Tennessee forward Steven Pearl finished with eight points and seven rebounds Sunday, and the rising junior converted a three-point play with less than two minutes to play in the game to cut Russia's lead to two points.
Brian Cohen paced the Americans with 18 points. The team's starting center, Seth Hauben, took a finger in the eye and did not play for most of the second half.
"This was a tough one," Bruce Pearl said. "Losing our five-man hurt us a bit inside, but we have to put this game behind us, focus on Argentina and realize the gold medal is still within reach."
The U.S. Maccabi Team faces Argentina on Monday at 4 p.m. (10 a.m. ET) at Metrowest Hall.
A win by the Americans would give them a 3-1 record; Argentina and Russia also would each be 3-1 in pool play. If the U.S. squad beats Argentina by more than four points (the margin by which Argentina defeated Russia on the opening day of play), the Americans would win their pool and enter the medal round.