EUROBASKET 2015 2ND QR
|Aliaksandr Pustahvar had a game-high 24 points for Belarus, along with 11 boards |
Belarus were dominant on the glass in their EuroBasket 2015 2nd Qualifying Round Group D opener against Denmark in Minsk on Sunday and cruised to a 97-72 win.
The hosts, who led from start to finish, out-rebounded Denmark 57 to 36 and scored 50 of their points in the paint.
Aliaksandr Pustahvar poured in eight of his game-high 24 points in the opening minutes of the encounter and propelled Belarus to a double-digit lead, 14-4, midway through the first quarter.
Veteran big man Mikalai Aliakseyeu sunk two free throws with 3:43 remaining in the second frame to cap off an 11-0 run by the hosts that enabled them to extend the gap to 41-19.
Denmark found some success from downtown and a Mathias Seilund three-pointer with 9:19 left to play in the third reduced the deficit to 43-32.
That was as close as the Danes would come however, as Belarus went on another burst and Pushtavar made it 59-37 for the hosts from the free-throw line, 3:23 from the third buzzer.
Belarus maintained their advantage around the 20-point margin the rest of the way and scored the last eight points in the game to ensure the point differential would reach its highest value just before the final buzzer.
Pustahvar added 11 rebounds to round up his performance, Vitali Liutych added 13 points and Aliaksandr Kudrautsau with Aliaksei Trastsinetski chipping in with 10 points apiece, as 11 Belarus players wrote their name on the scoreboard.
For Denmark, 21-year-old Esben Reinholt had 14 points and Darko Jukic picked up a double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds in defeat.