Belgium upset France to book a place in the Semi-finals along with Australia, Spain and United States
A recap of the Quarter-final matches of the 18th edition of the FIBA Women's World Cup held in Spain.
Belgium continued their astonishing run overcoming France in the quarter-finals to set up a clash with hosts Spain in the semis. Nigeria's dream run ended in the quarter-finals by Defending Champions United States.
Quarter-Final 1 - United States (1) vs Nigeria (34)
Reigning Afrobasket Women’s Champion Nigeria can hold their heads high becoming the first African Nation to compete in the quarter-finals of a FIBA world cup.
Tactics: The USA coach Dawn Staley switched her players well with thirty-one points coming from the bench.
Turning Point: Nigeria remained scoreless, and the United States stretched their lead to 23 points in the first three minutes of the fourth quarter.
Q1 - Evelyn Akhator starred for Nigeria obtaining six points as they took a surprising nine-point lead 9-17 in the opening quarter.
Q2 - The United States shifted the lead in the second quarter with Breanna Stewart, A'Ja Wilson and Brittney Griner sharing fourteen of the eighteen points scored, to lead by four points.
Q3 - Breanna Stewart assisted USA to an eleven point lead, adding eight points in the third quarter.
Q4 - Sue Bird sealed the match with a pair of three-point jump shots as they slaughtered Nigeria 25-5 in the fourth quarter.
Stats: The United States commanded all facets of the game tallying 22 assists and seven blocks. They accumulated a startling 62 rebounds (46 from defense and 16 from offense) through which they scored 38 points in the paint.
Star player: Breanna Stewart was the star player with 19 points, five assists and three rebounds.
Result: United States (1) defeat Nigeria (34) 71-40 (9-17, 18-6, 19-12, 25-5) (USA - Breanna Stewart 19 pts, 5 assists, Tina Charles 15 rebs; NIG - Evelyn Akhator 8 pts, Sarah Imovbioh 9 rebs, Ezinne Joesphine Kalu 6 assists, 5 steals).
Quarter-Final 2 - Australia (4) vs China (10)
Tactics: Australian coach Sandy Brondello granted sufficient gameplay for the whole squad returning 33 points from the bench.
Turning Point: Australia set the tone for the match heading into a massive 17 point lead in the first quarter.
Q1: Liz Cambage with ten points and Bec Allen with eight points made a mockery of China with an enormous 17 point lead in the first quarter.
Q2: Australia stretched to a 24 point lead in the second quarter through some exceptional teamwork.
Q3: Cambage continued her merry run scoring eight points, with a duo of jump shots as Australia rose to an unassailable thirty-point lead in the third quarter.
Q4: Alex Bunton capped off scoring six points in the fourth quarter as Australia pulverized China by a massive 41 points.
Stats: Australia had a 55% conversion rate from two-point field goals and 38% conversion rate from three-point field goals. They captured 49 rebounds (34 defensive and 15 offensive), scoring 48 points from the paint.
Star player: Liz Cambage who represents Dallas Wings in WNBA earned 20 points, nine rebounds, two steals and three blocks.
Result: Australia (4) defeats China (10) 83-42 (24-7, 18-11, 19-16, 22-8) (AUS – Liz Cambage 20 pts, 9 rebs, Steph Talbot 5 assists; CHN – Yueru Li 12 pts, Xu Han 6 rebs)
Quarter-Final 3 - Belgium (28) vs France (3)
Tactics: Creating loopholes in the French defense by playing a brand of quick basketball.
Turning Point: Belgium's stunning second quarter saw them amassing a lead of 22 points..
Q1: Kim Mestdagh and Emma Messeman added six points each as Belgium led by a slim three-points in the first quarter. Marine Johannes kept France in the race scoring six points.
Q2: Belgium had a staggering second-quarter as they stretched the lead to 22 points destroying France. Kim Mestdagh was the chief architect shooting twelve-points. Alexia Chartereau was the lone bright spot adding eight points out of the 14 for France in the second quarter.
Q3: Power Forward Endene Miyem of France who plays for Minnesota Lynx in the WNBA scored nine points in vain as Belgium still lead by 19 points after the third quarter.
Q4: Marjorie Carpréaux came up with a three-point jump shot with a second remaining in the match to restore a 21 point victory for Belgium. France's Helena Ciak who plays in the Russian league for Dynamo Kursk fouled out four minutes into the fourth quarter.
Stats: Belgium ended with a 57% average on two-point field goals. They also garnered 28 assists, 23 fast break points and an incredible 44 points from the paint.
Star players: Kim Mestdagh was outstanding scoring 23 points along with six rebounds and three assists. Julie Allemand, a WNBA draftee, delivered thirteen assists versus France to equal the all-time record in World Cups.
Result: Belgium (28) defeats France (3) 86-65 (20-17, 33-14, 14-17, 19-17) (BEL – Kim Mestdagh 23 pts, Emma Messeman 9 rebs, Julie Allemand 13 assists; FRA – Marine Johannes 17 pts, Sandrine Gruda 10 rebs)
Quarter-Final 4 - Spain (2) versus Canada (5)
Tactics: Canadian playmaker Kia Nurse's efforts were nullified to an extent by the presence of Queralt Casas, who plays for the French side Flammes Carolo.
Turning Point: Spain squeezed Canada with a tight defense giving up only three points in the fourth period.
Q1: Shay Colley scored eight points through a couple of jump shots and a driving lay-up, as Canada held on to a slender three-point lead in the opening quarter.
Q2: A tip-in and a jump shot from Astou Ndour helped Spain to overturn the deficit into a two-point lead at the end of the first half.
Q3: In a see-saw battle, Canada regained a three-point lead at the end of the third quarter with support coming in from Kia Nurse (9 pts) and Natalie Achonwa (8 pts).
Q4: In an astonishing fourth-quarter, Canada remained scoreless for eight minutes after missing eleven straight shots on the basket. Spain ran riot heading to a 16 point lead to seal the victory. Queralt Casas with a couple of driving lay-ups and a jump shot scored seven points.
Stats: Spain had a 51% conversion rate on two-point field goals compared to 36% for France. They also outscored France with 18 assists.
Star player: Astou Ndour who plies her trade in the WNBA with the Chicago Sky turned out to be the star performer for Spain scoring 16 points, four rebounds, two steals, and a block.
Result: Spain (2) defeats Canada (5) 68-53 (13-16, 16-11, 18-23, 21-3) (ESP – Astou Ndour 16 pts, Laura Nicholls 7 rebs, Laia Palau 5 assists; CAN – Kia Nurse 15 pts, Kim Gaucher 7 rebs)
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