Belgium Battle But Fall Short Against Serbia

10 September 2008

Serbia defeated Belgium 78-71 to move into sole possession of second place in EuroBasket Women qualifying Group D.

The victory was a third straight for the Serbians, who still must win their final game at the weekend over Bulgaria to assure themselves of a spot in next year's final round in Riga, Latvia.

Should Serbia lose and Belgium defeat pool leaders Greece, the Belgians would win the head to head tie-breaker thanks to a superior goal differential in their games against the Serbians.

Marija Eric had 19 points for the Serbians, who led 25-17 at the end of the opening 10 minutes only for Belgium to fight back and go in front in the second quarter.

Belgium were on top at 32-29 after a layup by Laurence Van Malderen, but a three-pointer from Serbia's Zorica Mitov sparked an 11-0 run for the hosts.

They took a 42-37 lead to half-time and extended that to 62-54 by the end of the third quarter.

Belgium refused to go away, though.

A three-pointer by Evelien Callens gave Belgium a 71-69 lead with 4:03 left in the contest but they failed to score the rest of the way.

Callens had 18 points for Belgium.


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