D.J. White finished with team-high totals of 14 points and nine rebounds, but it wasn't enough as the U.S. dropped its Pan America Games opener to Uruguay, 81-72, in Rio De Janiero, Brazil.
The IU junior played 22 minutes and 4-of-7 from the field and 6-of-8 from the free-throw line in his first international competition since he was a high school All-American in Tuscaloosa, Ala. He was one of three USA team members in double figures along with Oregon's Marty Luenen (14 points) and Villanova's Scottie Reynolds (10).
But White's effort wasn't enough for the U.S., which was done in by 22 turnovers, 3-of-21 shooting from 3-point range, and a big effort from Uruguay's Esteban Batista. Batista scored a game-high 25 points on 8-of-13 shooting.
The loss puts the U.S. in an 0-1 hole in the three-game pool play. The U.S. will be back in action tonight against Panama at 6:45 p.m., and it will then close out the preliminary round against Argentina on Friday at 6:45 p.m.
"We've still got a lot of things to work on," White said. "I give them all the credit – they came out and played good. We didn't play to the best of our capabilities, but we have two more games in pool play that we've got to pull out."
The turnovers were particularly costly to the U.S. team. Reynolds committed nine of the team's 22 turnovers, while White added four of his own. Team USA also struggled from behind the arc, as the starting backcourt tandem of Reynolds and Michigan State's Drew Neitzel combined to go just 2-of-15 from deep.
Wednesday night's game was the first for the U.S. team, which was put together earlier this month by head coach Jay Wright. But White wasn't willing to point to that as a reason for the team's struggles.
"You can say that, but it's just an excuse," White said. "We just have to go out there and play. Play together and do what coach says…It's basketball and we have to go out there and play better. We got two more games in pool play that we've got to improve on. We gotta do it."
White Scores 14 in Team USA Loss
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