After Their Slow Start, Americans Reach Basketball Final : Pam Am Games: Robinson comes through as in NCAA tournament as U.S. advances to face Argentina.

From Associated Press

Six years after his two free throws with three seconds left gave Michigan the NCAA title, Rumeal Robinson came through in the clutch again.

Robinson scored 17 of his 22 points on seven-for-eight shooting after halftime Friday night, leading the United States into the gold-medal basketball game at the Pan Am Games with an 89-85 victory over Brazil.

The American team of CBA players will face Argentina, 90-74 winners over Uruguay, tonight in the same arena where the Argentines defeated the U.S. volleyball team in a tense and emotional tiebreaker for the gold medal a week before.

After losing its first two games, the United States has won three in a row.

The United States set a medals record when Brian Olson of Colorado Springs, Colo., won a bronze in judo. That gave the U.S. team 370 medals, one more than it earned eight years ago in Indianapolis.

Through Friday, the United States had 373 medals, 148 gold. The gold record is 168, also set in 1987.

The United States and Cuba each won two golds, two silvers and a bronze in track and field Friday. The U.S. water polo team defeated Canada, 12-3, and will meet Brazil for the gold medal. Both U.S. softball teams won their first playoff games.

Argentina won the soccer gold medal over Mexico in a shootout, 5-4, after a 0-0 tie. Colombia got the bronze.

The American boxing team had a rough night, though.

Cuba's Leonardo Martinez stopped super-heavyweight Lance Whitaker with a devastating left hook only 2:15 into their fight. And Fernando Vargas, 17, lost at 139 pounds to Luis Perez of Puerto Rico, 6-4.

At the track, U.S. champion Kim Batten of Tallahassee, Fla., won the women's 400-meter hurdles in 54.74 seconds. Teammate Tonja Buford of Urbana, Ill., was second.

Meredith Rainey waited for a burnout by Brazil's Luciana Mendes to win the women's 800 in 1 minute 59.44 seconds.

In the 400 hurdles, Eronildes Araujo led a 1-2 Brazilian finish. Everson Teixeira was second.

Brazil's Jose Barbosa took the 800 in 1:46.02, breaking his Pan Am record of 1:46.29 set in a heat Wednesday. William Sumner of Bryn Mawr, Pa., was third.

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