Ballardini, Italy Knock Off Belgians


Italy won at Belgium 81-69 on Wednesdsay night in the Azzurre's opening game of the EuroBasket Women Additional Qualifying Round.

Umana Reyer Venezia's Simona Ballardini poured in 17 points, which included a two of five effort from three-ball range, pulled down nine rebounds and handed out seven assists for the Italians.

Kathrin Ress and Laura Macchi each contributed 12 points.

Italy held a slender 47-43 lead at half-time but pressed home the advantage in the third quarter when they outscored the Belgians 20-13 to go in front at 67-56.

They ended up winning by 12.

Italy were 29 of 57 (50.9)% inside the arc compared to Belgium's 18 of 33 (54.5%).

Both Italy and Croatia are 1-0 in Group B while the Belgians are 0-2.

Only the winners of Group A and Group B advance to the Final Round of the EuroBasket Women.

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