Stifling defence was at the core of Belarus' convincing 65-49 victory over a winless Poland during the first lopsided match in Group B.
Turning Point: The game was tight midway though the second quarter with Belarus leading 25-22 when Poland point guard Julie McBride drove to the basket. An easy layup seemed on offer but Belarus center Yelena Leuchanka arrived just in time and her intimidating presence probably unnerved McBride, who promptly missed and Belarus scored on the other end. Poland were never close again.
Stats Don't Lie: Poland's offensive shortcomings coupled with stifling Belarus defence ensured they struggled from the field, where they shot a woeful 27%.
Game Hero: Yelena Leuchanka was not required much offensively, and promptly had only eight points on five shots. But she once again dominated the boards collecting 14 rebounds and also had five assists to complete a fine all-round performance.
The Bottom Line: Belarus has a strong core of players to challenge the very best teams. Meanwhile, Poland's offensive difficulties mean they will continue to find it difficult to win games.