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Canada beats Belgium now one win away from Tokyo 2020

kia nurse canada beats belgium one win away from tokyo 2020
kia nurse canada beats belgium one win away from tokyo 2020

Canada’s senior women’s national team kicked-off the 2020 FIBA Olympic Qualifiers with a hard fought 61-56 over tournament hosts Belgium.

Needing only two victories to earn a spot at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games — the Canadians came out swinging against 2019 WNBA Finals MVP Emma Meeseeman

Canada, ranked no. 4 in the latest FIBA World rankings trailed for less then two (2) minutes before taking control of game mid-away through the second-quarter — pulling ahead for game-high 16-point lead at 30-14 in the late stages of the first-half. Behind a terrific and supportive home crowd, combined with sloppy last 1:48 minute by Canada allowed the Belgium team to close the half on 9-0 run — trimming the Canadian lead to 30-23 at half-time.

canada natalie anchowa runs over belgium emma meesseman fiba olympic qualifying tournament
Canada’s Natalie Anchowa runs over Belgium’s Emma Meesseman at 2020 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament

Kia Nurse scored a game-high 19 points, dished out 3 assists and captured 3 steals. Kayla Alexander had an outstanding game, banging inside for 12 points and 3 rebounds. Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe also contributed with 7 points, 6 rebounds and Shaina Pellinton came-off the bench — adding 7 points and 4 rebounds. Natalie Achonwa was effective on both ends of the court providing a spark with 6 points and 3 rebounds.

Canada outscored Belgium 26-8 in the paint and showcased it’s depth, scoring 24 points off the bench.

Belgium was paced by Emma Meeseeman’s team-high 14 points, 6 rebounds. Kim Mestdagh put in an all-around effort with 12 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists.

Canada (1-0) will take on a Sweden (0-1) in their upcoming game for an opportunity to qualify for their third straight Summer Olympic games.

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