Belarus Through, Turkey Down Greece


Natallia Kozun and Tatsiana Likhtarovich both notched double-doubles as Belarus beat Belgium 73-67 to capture their second victory in Group D and advance to the qualifying round of the U20 European Championship for Women.

Kozun collected 23 points, 11 rebounds, two steals and three blocks shots while Likhtarovich tallied 22 points and 10 rebounds for Belarus in Group D.

Belgium wasted a 24-point showing by Fanny Tirtiaux in dropping to 0-2 in the Sulmona group. Sara Leemans scored 11 points and Julie Vermeire came off the bench for eight points and 15 rebounds.

Bahar Caglar (Turkey)
Bahar Caglar paced Turkey's victory yet again

The Belgians used a late run to grab a 17-11 lead after the first period. But Belarus shifted gears and took over the game in the second frame.

Likhtarovich and Kozun combined for 14 points as Semen Khalipski's team out-scored Belgium 21-1 to start the second quarter and open a 32-18 gap. Likhtarovich tallied a total of 12 points in the second period for Belarus, who led 38-27 at the break.

Belgium fought back into the game and trimmed the deficit to 46-40 midway through the third period though Belarus led 52-44 going into the fourth.

Tirtiaux scored three straight baskets as Belgium closed to within 62-60. But Vermeire missed an inside lay-up which would have evened the game. And Volha Vashkevich drained a three-pointer at the other end for a five-point gap.

Kozun would then decide the game with two inside baskets, the second being a three-point play to make it 70-62 with a minute to play.

Caglar led Turkey

Turkey meanwhile gained their first victory in Group B in Chieti with a comfortable 63-46 win over winless Greece.

Bahar Caglar had another outstanding outing with 13 points, 10 rebounds and five steals while Gizem Yavuz scored 13 points and Yasemin Daglar chipped in 12 points. Also Melek Bilge added 11 rebounds.

Turkey struggled coming out of the gates, not scoring a basket until Burcu Tasbas's jumper with 4:44 left in the first period to make it 4-2. Turkey found their form and led 12-6 after one period.

Ioanna Diela scored back-to-back baskets and Vaia Merisioti's three-pointer gave Greece a 15-12 advantage. And the Greeks stayed with their rivals the rest of the first half, trailing just 30-28 at the break.

But Turkey used a 17-4 surge at the start of the second half to take control of the game at 47-32. The advantage was 51-36 after three periods. And the gap swelled to 21 points at 59-38 before Greece made the game a bit more respectable.

Diela paced the Greeks with 12 points.

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