No one celebrated harder than Danny Meagher when Canada defeated the United States in basketball late Friday night.

Two days before, he had been upset. It was disappointing enough that his team, Canada, was hopelessly behind Yugoslavia. But then, power forward Meagher looked up in the stands and saw his buddies from the United States, where he does his collegiate playing for Duke.

"It made me mad," Meagher said. " . . . they were laughing at us because we were losing. I wanted to beat them so bad. You don't know how bad."

Meagher played perhaps the best basketball of his amateur career, scoring 15 points to help Canada beat the United States, 85-77, in the World University Games semifinals.

Played before approximately 12,000 fans in the Universiade Pavilion, the game had all the energy of a good NCAA tournament game. Citizens here today were calling the upset Canada's biggest basketball victory ever.

"It's the sweetest thing I've ever experienced," Meagher said.

The American players had to be surprised by the performance of Meagher, a 6-foot-7 forward who has been such a nonfactor at Duke, he has thought of leaving.

But in the first half Friday, Meagher scored 12 points, and with Jay Triano's 24 (of a game-high 28) helped Canada to a startling 11-point halftime lead.