Belgium advance, Serbs shocked by Hungary

09 August 2008

Belgium booked their spot in the Qualifying Round of the Termosteps U16 European Championship Women with another convincing victory - a 71-54 win over Czech Republic.

Lut De Meyer poured in 16 points while Emma Meesseman collected 14 points, nine rebounds, four steals and five blocked shots in helping Beglium improve to 2-0 in Group B.

Julie Vanloo added 11 points and Hanne Mestdagh added nine points and 11 rebounds for Etienne Louvrier's team, which had beaten Ukraine by 58 points on Friday.

The Czech Republic dropped to 0-2 in the group as Jana Hausknechtová was the only player to score in double figures with 14 points. Richard Fousek's team could not handle Belgium's pressure defense, shooting 27 percent for the game.

Emma Meesseman (Belgium)
Emma Meesseman (Belgium) collected 14 points
After scoring 28 points in the opener De Meyer continued right where she left off, hitting the first two baskets in helping Belgium open a 10-2 gap, which increased to 14-4. Renata Pudláková scored twice as the Czechs pulled to within 20-14 after one period. Vanloo upped the gap to 11 points early in the second before Michaela Horáková's cut it back to 25-18. But the Belgian defense shut down Fousek's Czechs for more than six minutes in going on an 11-0 run for a 36-18 lead which was 36-20 at the break.

Hausknechtová would not let the Czechs go down without a fight, combining with Monika Sívrová for five baskets to trim the margin to 45-33 midway through the third period. But De Meyer answered straight away with a three-ball and the Belgian defense held the Czech Republic scoreless on eight straight possessions in re-establishing a 51-35 gap going into the fourth. Jolien Wouters opened the final period with a triple and Anne-Sophie De Bondt made it 56-35. The Czechs would not get closer than 18 points and Lynn Delvaux's triple gave Belgium their biggest lead of the game at 68-42.

Serbia meanwhile put themselves in serious danger of not advancing to the Qualifying Round from Group C by losing 62-57 to Hungary to drop to 0-2.

Melinda Késöi scored a team-high 15 points including two foul shots with two seconds to play to secure the win as Hungary improved to 1-1. Alma Németh added 13 points, Bettina Baksa hit for 12 and Flóra Szabó had 11 for Judit Balogh's side.

Zoran Kovacic's Serbians dropped to 0-2 in the group despite 14 points from Snezana Colic. Ivana Brajkovic and Jovana Karakasevic both added 10 points while Tamara Rajic grabbed 11 rebounds and Danica Dragicevic had 10 boards in a losing effort.

Hungary jumped ahead 9-0 and Serbia did not score a basket in the first four minutes in trailing 12-1 early. Serbia turned the ball over 10 times and shot just 3-of-15 in falling behind 23-9 after one period. A Késöi basket pushed the margin to 31-13 before the Serbs finally woke up, holding Hungary scoreless for more than seven minutes and using a 12-0 surge to go into the break down just 33-25.

Késöi opened the second half with a three-pointer and Hungary still led 39-29 after Németh's three-point play. But Serbia again fought their way back into the game and the margin was just 43-39 after Emilija Stojanovic's triple to close the third quarter. The Hungarians were able to hold off Serbia and led 54-46 midway through the final period. Serbia answered with a 6-0 run to trim it to a two-point game. And Stojanovic's next three-ball left Serbia trailing just 60-57 with 40 seconds left. Kovacic's team fouled Hungary with 20 seconds to play before Késöi secured the win with two seconds left.

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