Alba Torrens and Astou Ndour led Spain, while Emma Meesseman led Belgium on Thursday. Both teams are now 2-0 and have advanced to tournament play.
Alba Torrens (25 points) and Chicago Sky center/forward Astou Ndour (20 points, nine rebounds) led Spain’s 5×5 women’s basketball team to an 85-70 victory over Serbia and a spot in the quarterfinals at the Tokyo Olympics on Thursday. Their team, which is 2-0, trailed 20-19 after one and 44-41 at the break, but led by one entering the final frame and came alive with a 26-12 fourth.
Spain, the No. 3 team in the world, started the fourth with a 5-0 run, getting a paint bucket from Cristina Ouvinya (10 points, eight rebounds, eight assists, three steals) and a triple from Torrens in the first 49 seconds. That opened up a six-point lead, one that did not get much larger until the very end of the contest. With 2:14 remaining, Serbia was still alive, down just eight. However, that’s when a trey from Atlanta Dream guard and former Oregon Duck Maite Cazorla kicked off a 7-0 run that took the score to 83-68 Spain with 25 ticks left. Cazorla accounted for five of the seven points and finished with 17 for the game (5-of-6 from downtown).
Yvonne Anderson was No. 8 Serbia’s top player, notching 15 points, eight rebounds and four assists while Sonja Vasic added 11 points, six rebounds, three assists and two steals. Jelena Brooks tossed in a team-high 16 points as Serbia fell to 1-1. It still has a shot at qualifying for the quarterfinals.
Belgium (2-0) over Puerto Rico (0-2), 87-52
Emma Meesseman was phenomenal for Belgium once again, scoring 26 points and hauling in 15 rebounds. With China’s win over Australia on Friday, Belgium advanced to the quarterfinals.
Meesseman also had six assists and three steals. The Mestdaghs (Hanne and Kim) also came to play. H. Mestdagh was second on the team with 18 points while K. Mestdagh added 15 and six boards.
Belgium, the No. 6 team in the world, led 23-16 after one before blowing it open with a 20-8 second. It dominated the fourth quarter as well.
The areas Belgium excelled at were 3-point shooting and rebounding. It shot a very solid 43 percent from beyond the arc with 10 makes and won the battle on the glass 54-33.
Puerto Rico, the No. 23 team in the world, received 20 points from Jazmon Gwathmey.
— Belgian Cats (@TheBelgianCats) July 31, 2021