Hungary 67 Belgium 72

20.09.2003

Hun-Bel19.jpg
Ann Wauters blocking a shot of Eva Seres
Belgium rode a strong performance from star centre Ann Wauters to beat Hungary 72-67 on Saturday to boost their hopes of a place in the quarter-finals.

In 39 minutes, Wauters poured in 21 points on nine of 17 shooting and hauled down 13 rebounds as Belgium evened their record in Group B to one win and one defeat.

Facing a Hungarian side which was full of confidence after their opening day one-point win over the Ukraine courtesy of a Eva Seres' three-pointer with just four seconds remaining, Belgium relied on Wauters' power under the basket.

The game was a tight affair throughout.

Hungary led 37-35 at half-time but the Belgians came back to lead 52-51 after three quarters and then outscored the Hungarians 20-16 in the final frame.

Hungary were just three of 24 from three-point range for the game.

Caroline de Roose, the Belgium captain, said: "We made a good start and coped well with the comeback from the Hungarian team.

"Today we used Ann Wauters very well, creating opportunities for her inside and in the second half we hit our three-pointers."

For Laszlo Ratgeber, the Hungarian coach, the defeat was extremely hard to take.

"It will now be difficult to win one or two more games to be certain of qualification," he said.

"The team was not aggressive enough on offence or defence and it cannot be that our best scorer only scores five points."

Ratgeber knows, too, that he is going to need more offence out of his biggest scorer, Andrea Károlyi.

She had 16 points to lead the way against the Ukraine but struggled on Saturday and was just two of eight on the game, including one of four from behind the three-point arc.

"The girls are trying their best but this is not the best Hungarian team," Ratgeber said.


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