Anke De Mondt's 18 points led four players in double figures as Belgium collected a convincing 68-53 victory over Lithuania for the perfect start to their Group B campaign at the 2007 EuroBasket Women.
Belgium jumped out to an 18-4 lead and never looked back with Ann Wauters adding 15 points, Evelien Callens 12 off the bench and Kathy Wambe chipping in 10 points.
"We came very good into the game and that was the strength for us. We had a very good
|Sandra Valuzyte had 10 points for Lithuania in the loss.|
"We wanted to have a very intensive game and cause a lot of turnovers and let us get to the balls. Unfortunately we didn't exploit those ball losses to the fullest extent."
The 1997 EuroBasket winners from Lithuania had the worst possible start to their EuroBasket, shooting 40% (17-of-42) while committing a horrific 26 turnovers compared to just 11 for Belgium.
Lithuania were also unable to take advantage of a 36-28 rebounding difference.
"They were better in defense and made us make a lot of mistakes. That was the main reason we lost this game. We showed a lot of attention to their post players and that's why the shooters were open," said Lithuanian boss Algirdas Paulauskas.
Lithuania were led by Iveta Marcauskaite's 14 points while Agne Ciudariene had 13 points and Sandra Valuzyte added 10.
Belgium came out very aggressive on defense and used an 11-0 run to open an 18-4 lead eight minutes into the game. An Ela Briedyte three-pointer stopped the bleeding somewhat as Lithuania trailed 21-9 after the first quarter which saw them turn the ball over 11 times.
De Mondt's third trey of the first half sparked a 9-3 start to the second period for a 30-12 cushion, but Lithuania worked hard defensively and out-scored Belgium 7-2 the rest of the half to go into the locker-room down just 32-19.
Lithuania twice trimmed the deficit to 10 points early in the third - 36-26 the second but Nele Deyaert scored eight of her nine points during a 21-9 Belgian run to lead 57-35 after three periods.
Laurent Buffard's team struggled to score early in the fourth and Lithuania used a 10-2 spurt to get to within 59-45 with four minutes remaining.
The Belgians however kept Lithuania at bay the rest of the way.
Belgium on Tuesday face Germany in a battle of first-day winners, while Lithuania must forget this nightmare as they take on Romania.