SAN JUAN (2009 FIBA Americas Championship) - Puerto Rico (2-0) defeated their neighbor the US Virgin Islands (0-2) by the score of 85-74 at Coliseo Roberto Clemente to close day 2 of the FIBA Americas Championship at Coliseo Roberto Clemente in San Juan.
This game featured six Puerto Ricans on the court, as Walter Hodge came out to represent the Virgin Islands before the start of the tournament. Hodge, who was born in Guaynabo, had one of his grandparents born in the USVI.
Like in the first day, Puerto Rico had a slow start, which might be due to their lack of days practicing with the final squad before the tournament. In the first minutes Puerto Rico scored three baskets from three point range and took a 10-4 lead with 5:58. After that the US Virgin Islands made a 17-6 run and finished the first quarter up 21-16. Cuthbert Victor led with 8 points while Kevin Sheppard had 7. Carlos Arroyo led
Puerto Rico with six points that came from two three pointers.
In the second quarter both teams fought for the lead but Walter Hodge broke a 32-32 tie with a three pointer and later he made a two pointer with 1:23 to give them a 39-33 advantage. At halftime USVI enjoyed a 43-38 lead. Kevin Sheppard led the visitors with 12 points while Victor had 10. Carlos Arroyo was the only Puerto Rican in double figures with 12 points.
Puerto Rico made a 14-0 run in the first four minutes to take a 52-43 lead after a two pointer by Carmelo Lee. At the end of the first 30 minutes the lead was 64-53 as Arroyo netted 8 in that segment while Lee totaled 11.
Despite a great effort from USVI to make a comeback, Puerto Rico used all their resources, especially their guards, to secure the win.
Carlos Arroyo finished with 24 points and 5 assists while Carmelo Lee netted 13 and Peter John Ramos had 11. Ramos was also the leading rebounder for Puerto Rico with 10 boards.
Kevin Sheppard and Phillip Jones scored 18 each for USVI.
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