It's safe to say Yugoslavian basketball has never seen...


KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- It's safe to say Yugoslavian basketball has never seen anything like Charles Barkley.

In international basketball, the centers rebound, the forwards score and the guards playmake with very little crossover in responsibilities at each position. But Barkley left the Yugoslavians scratching their heads Sunday night at the International Invitational Basketball Tournament.


Barkley did it all -- collecting 14 rebounds, 11 points, 3 assists, 2 dunks and 2 blocked shots -- to lead the United States World University Games team to a surprisingly easy 98-74 victory over Yugoslavia in the second day of the three-team round-robin tournament.

Barkley isn't exactly an American basketball prototype: he stands 6-foot-6 but weighs 270 pounds. He played center last season at Auburn but he's playing at a forward spot for the University Games team.

'Just because he's fat doesn't mean he can't play basketball,' said Yugoslavian coach Dusan Ivkovic. 'He's something of a new kind of player in modern basketball. He's a strong player and a good rebounder. You can always use a player like that no matter what his size.'


Karl Malone of Louisiana Tech scored 10 first-half points to help the U.S. claim a 47-34 intermission advanage and the Americans increased their lead to 61-40 in the opening five minutes of the second half. But Yugoslavia got 8 points from Emir Mutapcic to cut the deficit to 71-60 with 8:52 remaining.

But Barkley, who had not played in the second half until that point, came off the bench and got five points, six rebounds, three assists and a blocked shot over the next seven minutes to trigger a 21-8 run that gave the U.S. a 92-68 lead before departing once again.

In the other game of the men's competition, Airiberto Laferte came off the bench to score 15 points to pace five players in double figures and lead Cuba to a 97-55 triumph over Mexico. The U.S. will face winless Mexico and Cuba will play Yugoslavia today in the tournament's final day.

In the women's competition, the Russian national team whipped the U.S. University Games team 93-77 and the U.S. Pan American team routed France 104-60.

Center Iuliyaka Semyonova scored 24 of her game-high 34 points in the second half and her frontcourt running mate Olga Sukharnova personally outrebounded the U.S. University Games team 18-16 to take some of the sting out of only the second loss by the Russian national team in 24 years the night before to the U.S. Pan American team (76-70).


The 7-2 Semyonova scored the Soviet Union's first 18 points of the second half to move the Russians from a one-point intermission lead into a 60-51 advantage with 12:31 left in the game. Sukharnova then scored her final nine points in the closing seven minutes to help the Soviets pull away.

Forwards Janice Lawrence, Denise Curry and Lisa Ingram combined for 42 points and guard Lynette Woodard chipped in 16 more to keep the U.S. Pan American unbeaten heading into its final game today against the U.S. University Games team.

Lawrence scored 18 points, Curry and Ingram 12 apiece and guard Cheryl Cook also reached double figures with 11 to hand France its second straight loss. The French wrap up their stay in Kansas City today with a game against the Soviet Union.

'That team is very good,' said French coach Vanags Indulis of the American Pan Am entry. 'They beat the Russians last year and they beat them again this year. If that's their Olympic team (in 1984), they have a good chance of finishing in first place.'

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