Strong bench play propelled the U.S. Men’s Basketball team to victory over Uruguay at the FIBA AmeriCup tournament 74-66 Tuesday night.

Through the first 10 minutes and 23 seconds, the hosts were the aggressors by catapulting to a 22-11 advantage. The Americans scored 11 of the next 12 points to close the gap and eventually took a 34-32 lead into halftime.

By the end of three quarters, the game was tied at 50. Over the final ten minutes, U.S.A steadily built the lead up to 11 with Larry Drew II playing a significant part in organizing the offensive effort. The Sioux Falls Skyforce guard hit two threes, set up three teammates on assists grabbed a couple rebounds and even took a charge in that pivotal frame.

Looking at the Uruguay roster, the starting five is definitely a formidable crew with plenty of professional experience with two players standing above the rest. Point guard Jayson Granger (17 points, 6 assists) had a couple looks during NBA Summer League in 2013 and 2014. Center Esteban Batista (22 points, 14 rebounds) spent two years with the Atlanta Hawks from 2005-07.

Uruguay pounded it inside with a 36-28 advantage on points in the paint, but U.S.A. had better marksmanship from the outside going 9-28 from long range (Uruguay 3-23). That bench advantage loomed large especially with teams playing games on three consecutive days as the Americans had a 50-3 advantage from the respective second units. The top performers were all non-starters with Wendell Williams, Jr. putting up 16 points with 5 rebounds, Reggie Hearn tallied 15 and Jameel Warney had 8 points and 14 rebounds.

Uruguay will play Panama in their final game of Group C play tonight (August 30) with U.S.A. facing the Dominican Republic.

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