INDIANAPOLIS, AUG. 19 -- The courts had a lot of action today at the Pan American Games -- basketball, civil and criminal.
On the basketball court, the U.S. women's team advanced to Sunday's gold-medal game by defeating Cuba, 85-80, in Market Square Arena.
And American Kristie Phillips, the 15-year-old Mary Lou Retton want-to-be, took the lead in the women's gymnastics compulsories with a total of 38.950 points. Phillips' closest competitors were her own teammates, who occupied the next five spots.
Phillips scored a 9.825 on the balance beam and a 9.75 on floor exercise. Melissa Marlowe of the United States held second overall at 38.75.
The United States led Cuba, 192.825 to 189.60. Canada was third with 185.00, followed by Brazil with 182.775.
But the friction between Cuban nationals and an anti-Castro group just won't let go of the Pan American Games, even as they head down the homestretch with only four days remaining.
Three lawsuits were requested today by members of the anti-Castro Cuba Independente y Democratica (CID) movement and Marion County (Ind.) procecutor Stephen Goldsmith said he is reviewing some of the evidence and would make a decision by Thursday on the CID's complaints.
In action of a nonlegal nature, Cuba's women's basketball team nearly scored one of the biggest upsets of the Games. It led the United States by two points at halftime and by seven in the second half. The U.S. starters played sluggishly, but five reserves bailed out the team, which has won all three of its games. The United States shoots for a sixth Pan Am title Sunday against Brazil, a 79-78 winner over Canada in the other semifinal. The United States downed Brazil, 84-81, earlier in pool play.
Cynthia Cooper, recently of Southern California, came off the bench to score a team-high 14 points, including three three-pointers in four attempts. She led a group of reserves who scored 43 of the U.S. points.
Teresa Edwards, a former Georgia all-America who has moved over to point guard to replace injured Kamie Ethridge, had 10 points, four assists and four rebounds. But the reserves deserved the praise today.
Jennifer Gillom of Mississippi had 13 points and six rebounds off the bench, and Rutgers star Sue Wicks came in to record eight points and five rebounds.
Cuba held a 54-47 lead before Cooper sparked a comeback in which the Americans used an eight-point run for a 55-54 lead. Cuba regained the lead, 60-59, with only 11 minutes left, but the United States went on an 11-1 run -- seven of the points coming from Gillom and Cooper -- to lead by 10.
On the legal front, the CID asked Goldsmith to file criminal charges against members of Cuba's boxing team and four Cuban security agents. Two CID members, Miami's Felix Toledo and Pablo Pena, also filed civil suits against the head of the Cuban Olympic Committee, Manuel Gonzalez Guerra, and Armando Guirola, the chief of Cuban security, charging "conspiracy to commit battery."
Goldsmith said his office was reviewing videotape and taking statements in preparation for issuing a decision on the validity of the charges. Goldsmith said he did not want to take any action that would disrupt the Games, but added, "some fairly serious acts have occurred and they shouldn't be condoned."
Also, the group filed a $50 million suit in Marion Superior Court against Alberto Juantorena, the legendary Cuban Olympic gold medal runner and now the vice president of the Cuban Ministry for Sports. This suit alleges Juantorena made defamatory statements regarding CID members.
Also today, the U.S. water polo team defeated Cuba, 5-3, in a match featuring 15 fouls against Cuba and an ejection of one of its players. Kevin Robertson and Alan Mouchawar each scored twice for the United States.
The U.S. men got a bronze medal in field hockey over Chile, 4-2; Canada beat Argentina for the gold, 3-1.
Also, five Mexican soccer players were suspended today for rough play during Brazil's 1-0 semifinal victory Tuesday night. Four players received their second yellow-card warnings and another was ejected against Brazil. They will be ineligible for the bronze-medal game Thursday against Argentina.