The second day of games in Women’s EuroBasket are finished. Here are the key results from the games involving Washington Mystics forward Emma Meesseman for Belgium and signee Klara Lundquist for Sweden.
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Belgium vs. Slovenia final score: Meesseman scores 23 in 92-57 statement win
Yesterday, I was harsh on the Belgium women’s national team for losing 70-55 to Bosnia & Herzegovina. It’s not just because they lost, but it was how they lost. I wasn’t happy with the fact that Meesseman shot the ball just once in the last three minutes after a late tie while their start guard duo of Indiana Fever guard Julie Allemand and Mystics alum Kim Mestdagh were clanking threes they otherwise made regularly. In a postgame press conference, Messeeman clearly looked upset but remained confident that they would get back on track.
.@EmmaMeesseman after the loss vs @BFBiH: "We don’t want to see the other team celebrating like that again"— Belgian Cats (@TheBelgianCats) June 17, 2021
We #FocusNext on to tomorrow's game #BasketballBelgium @FIBA @EuroBasketWomen pic.twitter.com/sHRKiLVy6S
So while I was watching this game earlier this morning, I wasn’t surprised to see Belgium win against Slovenia. I was surprised at just how dominant the blowout was since it was a 92-57 shellacking. They never trailed in this contest and put away anyone doubting that they could make the quarterfinals.
Here are some of the team-level stats:
- The Cats outscored Slovenia in all four quarters, not that common for even a blowout win for any team. (So they weren’t happy!)
- Belgium shot 58.3 percent from the field and held Slovenia to 33.9 percent shooting.
- Belgium stole the ball 12 times, five of them by Kim Mestdagh (her younger sister Hanne is also on the team). They forced 23 turnovers in all AND only committed 9 themselves.
- Belgium had 34 assists while Slovenia had 15.
- The only “bad” stat was that Slovenia outrebounded Belgium 41-27, but .... when the offense looked about as good as any I’ve seen in awhile, then that’s not uncommon to see.
Meesseman continued playing at an MVP level, scoring 23 points on 10-of-11 shooting, dishing 7 assists and grabbing 3 rebounds. She only played 28 minutes given how big this victory was as Belgium started off the fourth quarter with a 15-0 run.
Allemand (6 points) and Kim Mestdagh (11 points) shot the ball less in this contest and their shots weren’t falling as both shot under 40 percent from the field. That said, Allemand dished 10 assists and committed NO turnovers while Mestdagh added five assists, five steals and six rebounds. They made up for their lack of scoring efficiency with hustle and court vision.
Kyara Linskens was Belgium’s second leading scorer with 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting while Hanne Mestdagh and Antonia Delaere added 13 points each for the Cats.
For Slovenia, Eva Lisec led their scorers with 11 points but was held to 4-of-16 shooting.
Sweden vs. Spain final score: Swedes overwhelmed in first half in 76-55 rout
Spain came into this game in a mood similar to Belgium’s. They came off a shocking 53-51 loss to Belarus yesterday after they shot just 29.7 percent from the field. You almost knew that the Spanish weren’t going to let that happen again.
The Spanish blew out the Swedes, 47-17 in the first half putting this game out of reach early in front of their fans, as the game was played in Valencia. Chicago Sky center Astou Ndour scored 22 points on 7-of-9 shooting and grabbed 13 rebounds to lead Spain to the overwhelming victory. In the second half, Spain went into autopilot and Sweden was able to
For Sweden, Klara Lundquist scored six points in 21 minutes of game action off the bench. She shot 3-of-10 from the field but missed all of her threes. Ellen Nystrom was the only Swedish player to score in double digits with 11 points.
Belgium’s next game is on Sunday at 9 a.m. ET when they play Turkey (0-2). Given that Bosnia and Herzegovina won their head-to-head matchup against Turkey in Group C, Belgium will need the Slovenes to win against the Bosnians to have a chance for an automatic quarterfinals berth.
As for Sweden, their next game is on Sunday at 9 a.m. ET vs. Belarus (1-1). All four teams in their group (Group A) are 1-1 so it will be a very exciting finish for their group.