China beats Belgium 74-62, undefeated in women’s pool play

National Sports

SAITAMA, Japan (AP)Li Yueru scored 14 points, and China finished pool play undefeated beating Olympic newcomer Belgium 74-62 Monday night.

Both China and Belgium had already qualified for the quarterfinals with only seeding on the line when they played. China (3-0) finished atop Group C, while Belgium (2-1) remains one of the four seeded teams in the quarterfinals based on point differential.

Belgium led 21-17 after the first 10 minutes but China was up 38-37 at halftime. The lead was cut to one with 1.3 seconds left when Emma Meesseman hit two free throws after Huang Sijing was accessed an unsportsmanlike foul, her second.

Meesseman had 20 points by halftime but only scored four in the second half.

The Chinese led 59-52 after the third quarter and never trailed again.

Li Meng added 11 points for China, and Yang Liwei and Pan Zhenqi each had 10.

Julie Allemand and Kim Mestdagh scored 12 apiece for Belgium.

A scary moment came with 3:18 left in the game. Kim Mestdagh was chasing a loose ball and apparently hit around her throat in a collision. She seemed to have trouble breathing and grabbed at her throat before being helped to the bench a couple minutes later. She never left the bench area but didn’t return.

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