EUROBASKET 2015 2ND QR
| Maxime De Zeeuw gave Belgium the first half impetus they required to provide breathing space against Denmark |
Belgium tightened up the screws on defence in the second quarter and pulled away from Denmark to cruise a 71-50 win at home on Day 3 action in Group D of the EuroBasket 2015 2nd Qualifying Round.
The Belgians have now improved to 2-1 in the standings while Denmark are bottom of the group with three defeats in as many games.
The Danish started off in bullish mood on Sunday and forced their hosts to work hard just to tie the scores at 12 by the end of the opening frame.
When Maxime De Zeeuw hit a triple with 7:12 remaining in the second period, he not only gave Belgium their first significant lead in the game, 21-17, but also signalled the turning of the tide.
With 52 seconds left to the half-time buzzer, Wen Mukubu sunk a jumper and capped off a 23-6 burst for Belgium, bringing the hosts ahead 41-23.
Esben Reinholt hit two back-to-back three-pointers in the dying seconds of the first half to reduce the gap to 41-29, but Denmark, who had already been forced to commit 14 of their 25 turnovers by that stage, would not come closer again.
Belgium raised their defensive intensity after the break and enjoyed their biggest lead, 71-43, midway through the fourth frame when Loic Schwartz drilled two triples either side of a Guy Muya lay-up to instigate an 8-0 run for the hosts.
Schwartz finished with 12 points while Muya and De Zeeuw each added 11 points for the winners, the latter also adding nine rebounds.
For Denmark, Darko Jukic had 14 points and four rebounds in a losing effort.