Belgium lost to France, 84-80 in the 2019 FIBA Women’s EuroBasket quarterfinals in Belgrade, Serbia,
For Belgium, Kim Mestdagh had a double-double with 16 points, 10 rebounds and 7 assists. Emma Meesseman led Belgium’s scorers with 24 points but also had 5 personal fouls.
For France, Sandrine Gruda scored 33 points while Mystics alumna Bria Hartley added 12 points.
The first quarter was a deja vu of Belgium’s quarterfinal win against Slovenia when the Cats had to claw out of an early deficit. France raced to a 27-16 lead as one of Europe’s traditional powers made easy work out of the “new-to-the-scene” Belgians.
But over the next three quarters, Belgium calmed things down and ultimately got the game into overtime. But unlike Slovenia, France is one of Europe’s established powers. They can take the hits from Belgium better than Slovenia. In part because of that, they won.
For Belgium, their Olympic hopes aren’t over yet. They will play Hungary in a consolation game this Saturday, July 6. If the Belgian Cats win this game, they will salvage their hopes of accomplishing their goal to make the Olympic qualifying tournament next year.