EuroBasket Women 2017 Qualifiers: Belgian Cats produced convincing win over Poland on Feb. 20th, 2016

It was a full house at the Hall Octave Henry in Namur on Feb. 20th, 2016 as the Belgian Cats (Belgium's women national team) hosted Poland for the FIBA EuroBasket Women 2017 Qualifiers. It was the occasion for 1.200 enthusiastic fans to enjoy a great basketball game with superstars Ann Wauters (1.94 m, center, born in 1980) and Emma Meesseman (1.92 m, center, born in 1993) on the Belgian side and with Ewelina Kobryn (1.93 m, center, born in 1982) on the Polish squad.
After several attempts missed on boths sides due to nice defensive plays, unexpected turnovers or simply bad shots, Emma Meesseman in offense and Ann Wauters in defense showed the way to the Cats. Nice responses and hard work in the paint by Ewelina Kobryn as well as efficient shooting by Julie McBride (1.65 m, point guard, born in 1982, ex-Syracuse) allowed the Poles to stay close at half-way in the first quarter. The Belgian team played well and digged a first gap at 16-10 but strong plays by Ewelina Kobryn allowed the visitors to tie the game at 16-16 with one minute remaining in the first quarter. A last jump shot hit by Emma Meesseman gave a short advantage to the Belgian Cats of Coach Philip Mestdagh after 10 minutes of play.

The game remained tied until the the middle of the second quarter, when the scoreboard showed 24-24. Prior to that, Belgian guard Marjorie Carpreaux (1.65 m, point guard, born in 1987) had missed a rather easy lay-up which... had a rather boosting effect on her. She started to show her full offensive repertoire by giving great assists to her mates Emma Meesseman and Antonia Delaere (1.80 m, shooting guard, born in 1994). In just three minutes of play, the Cats outscored the Poles 15-0 to take a rather comfortable lead (39-24 on the scoreboard). The Polish national team's Head Coach Teodor Mollov could not find any solution and, despite efforts by Martyna Koc (1.86 m, center, born in 1983) or Angelika Stankiewicz (1.70 m, shooting guard, born in 95) on the wooden floor, his squad were 17 points behind when both teams went back to the locker rooms at the half (45-28).

After the break, Kim Mestdagh (1.79 m, shooting guard, born in 1990, ex-Colorado State) scored the first seven points of the third quarter to quickly kill the game. Poland looked simply unable to stop the hosts from scoring. The little crowd enjoyed the spectacular plays offered by the Cats: Marjorie Carpreaux for the dishes, Ann Wauters for the impressive plays in the paint, the fantastic shooting performances by Emma Meesseman and Kim Mestdagh, etc. Ewelina Kobryn in the paint again was able to reduce the gap. Belgian Cats Ann Wauters and Julie Vanloo (1.72 m, point guard, born in 1993), sitting on the bench in the middle of the third quarter, tried to understand Angelika Stankiewicz's free-throw shooting motion but the Polish guard hit all free-throw attempts on Saturday night (9/9 from the line in the game). Belgium was nevertheless well in front at the end of the third quarter: 70-43. Some Belgian players like Hind Ben Abdelkader (1.72 m, guard, born in 1995, college: California) and Julie Allemand (1.73 m, point guard, born in 1996) came off the bench with success in the third quarter.

The fourth quarter was the final touch for the magnificent performances by Kim Mestdagh (5 three-point shots hit in the last quarter and 30 points in the game) and Emma Meesseman (29 points, 14 rebounds, 3 blocks and 2 steals in the game). Belgium eventually had a dominant 100-63 win over Poland to throw FIBA EuroBasket Women 2017 Qualifiers Group G wide open. The Cats reached the 100 mark on a last triple off the glass nailed by Julie Vanloo. Also to be mentioned: Belgium had a tremendous 62.9% in field goal percentage in this game. The Cats also outscored the Polish team 21-4 in assists. The three teams (Belarus, Belgium and Poland) are currently all knotted with 1-1 records in Group G. On Feb. 24th, 2016, Poland went to Belarus for the second half of a rather tricky road double-header.
Score evolution: 18-16, 45-28, 70-43 and 100-63.
Best scorers:
Belgium: K. Linskens 2, K. Mestdagh 30, A. Delaere 5, M. Carpreaux 4, E. Meesseman 29, A. Wauters 9, H. Ben Abdelkader 6, J. Vanloo 10, J. Raman 5.
Poland: J. McBride 9, A. Stankiewicz 14, J. Zurowska-Cegiels 8, W. Idczak 2, A. Sniezek 4, E. Kobryn 16, A. Kaczmarczyk 4, A. Pawlak 2, M. Koc 4.
(Pictures: Bert Larsimont and

Popular posts from this blog

FIBA EuroCup Women: Valencia BC (SPA) has given no hope to Basket Namur Capitale (BEL) at the Hall Octave Henry in Saint-Servais, Belgium on Nov. 25th, 2021

EuroMillions League - Round Six: Proximus Spirou Charleroi defeats BC Telenet Oostende after strong finish in a thrilling Belgian "Clásico"!

NCAA basketball - 2016-17 Men's All-America Team and last review (May 2017)