The second game of the FIBA Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament is in the books. Here’s what went down!
Belgium got a much needed 92-84 win against Japan. After a sluggish first quarter, the Belgians were able get a 70-53 lead against the Japanese early in the fourth quarter, looking much like their trademark “World Cup Cinderella-selves.”
The Japanese made a furious comeback to drop the deficit to an 85-84 game with just 1:32 left, but Julie Allemand was able to make a couple free throws in the following possession and Emma Meesseman made a jump shot to put them away.
Speaking about Meesseman, she reverted to her ... Meessemanesque form, scoring 23 points on 11-of-15 shooting, grabbing 7 rebounds and dishing 5 assists with NO turnovers.
.@thebelgiancats are showing their claws with @EmmaMeesseman leading the way (10 PTS at half-time)!#FIBAOQT— FIBA (@FIBA) February 8, 2020
Kim Mestdagh, on the other hand had another poor game shooting overall. While she did drain 3-of-6 from long range (her trademark speciality), she missed all three of her two-point attempts. This slump shouldn’t last too long though. But overall, Belgium was back to their “Belgian Cat” selves as they made 61.7 percent of their shots for the game.
For Japan, Saki Hayashi led their scorers with 24 points, scoring all of them off eight three-pointers.
As for the United States, they won 124-49 against Mozambique. That was no surprise. This on the other hand, kind of is. Every American player played between 18-21 minutes, almost like an All-Star Game.
Ariel Atkins played 18 minutes in the contest, scoring 8 points on 3-of-4 shooting. She also got 2 steals. Nneka Ogwumike led Team USA’s scorers with 24 points. For Mozambique, Leia Dongue led their scorers with 10 points.
Both the Belgians and Americans have one more game to go tomorrow. Belgium plays Sweden at 8:50 a.m. ET where a win means that the Belgians punch their ticket to the Olympics. The USA plays Nigeria tomorrow at 1:50 p.m. ET.