U.S. finishes 11-of-23 from 3-point range

Updated: August 8, 2005, 12:07 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

MAR DEL PLATA, Argentina -- Allan Ray of Villanova went 5-for-5 from 3-point range and scored 20 points to lead the United States to a 94-79 victory over Puerto Rico on Sunday night in the preliminary round of the men's Under 21 World Championships.

Terrence Roberts of Syracuse had 11 points and 10 rebounds for the United States (3-0), which finished 11-for-23 from behind the 3-point arc.

Curtis Withers of Charlotte added 12 points and nine rebounds for the U.S. team, which averaged 110 points in its first two games.

Jose Barea, who played at Northeastern, led Puerto Rico (1-2) with 21 points and 14 assists, while center Peter John Ramos, who played for the Washington Wizards last season, had 12 points.

The U.S. team led 50-31 at halftime.

USA assistant coach Bruiser Flint of Drexel told ESPN.com on Sunday night that Ray got equal time with starter Wake Forest's Justin Gray (20 minutes each) because Gray had been bothered by an ankle injury. Temple's Mardy Collins played a major role, as well. Collins played 17 minutes, scoring eight points, playing mostly in place of Rudy Gay of Connecticut, who played only nine minutes.

"We knew Puerto Rico was going to come out with a lot of intensity," Ray said on the USA Basketball Web site. "They came out with great intensity on the offensive end, especially in the second quarter. In the third quarter they came out great again. Coach said that we had a little bit of a mental and physical lapse. We should definitely learn from this game. It was good, we played our three games in three days. We have to get ready for next weekend."

The Americans' balance has been key to this tournament so far. Gay was supposed to be scoring leader and go-to player. But that hasn't occurred. Gray, Withers, Marcus Williams, Rajon Rondo and now Ray have been the leading scorers in the first three games, not Gay.

Williams, who scored 17 points in a win over Lithuania on Saturday, struggled against Puerto Rico from the field (0-for-5) but the point guard had a stellar playmaking game, dishing out six assists, picking up four steals and committing just one turnover.

Rondo, who also had 17 points against Lithuania, was in foul trouble (four) but still managed five assists and no turnovers in 14 minutes.

Duke's J.J. Redick snapped out of a mini-slump with a 3-pointer, making his only attempt and finishing with eight points off the bench.

The U.S. team had a rough time keeping Barea out of the lane. Flint said his penetrating was hard to contest. The U.S. kept Denver Nuggets draft pick Ricky Sanchez in check as the second-round selection and one-time Memphis signee went 1-for-9 for two points.

The United States plays Nigeria on Tuesday and then closes out pool play against Slovenia on Wednesday. The quarterfinals are Friday and the championship game is Sunday night.

Information from ESPN.com's Andy Katz and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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