08 - 11
February 2024
10 Breanna Stewart (USA)
Game Report
to read

Stewart buzzer beater saves USA and breaks Belgian hearts

ANTWERP (Belgium) - A last gasp tip-in from Breanna Stewart denied Belgium a famous victory as USA dodged a bullet 81-79 in front of a sellout at the FIBA Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Antwerp.


Despite the dramatic defeat, the noisy home fans reveled in the joy of seeing their team almost take down the reigning Olympic champions with some breathtaking basketball.

Turning Point: It all boiled down to the last second of a captivating contest as Stewart showed her class with an incredible tip-in.

It was made all the more dramatic when it was checked by the game officials and the 13700 fans on the big screen who held their breath to see that the USA star had gotten the shot off before time had expired.

TCL Player of the Game: While Stewart will always be remembered for her last second intervention and game winning play, Napheesa Collier was immense with 23 points, 7 rebounds and 3 steals for USA.

Stats Don't Lie: The USA outscored Belgium in bench points 43-16 and those extra options made a big difference when they were down by as many as 13 in the game.



Bottom Line: USA were given the kind of test they probably needed on the way to this year's Games and credit was due to the way they showed their champion class by digging out the win. They have not lost at the senior global level in 18 years and this was a close-run thing. 

Belgium were outstanding. Especially as they were without two regular starting five players in Kyara Linskens and Julie Allemand. Their brand of basketball had the home crowd on their feet and now they must bounce back to beat Nigeria and Senegal to get their Olympic spot.

They Said: "The game was great and the competition was great. I am proud of our team playing together and digging out this win as it was not easy. But we just stayed positive. We worked through the kinks we were having." USA standout, Napheesa Collier

"In terms of the crowd, they were treated to a great basketball game. Belgium did what they needed to do in terms of their compete level and their belief. Emma (Meeseeman) got great help from the supporting cast. It was a great game for Belgium. Napeheesa (Collier) was finding ways for us and Sabrina (Ionescu) hit a couple of big ones in her minutes. The adversity that we faced is something that I was hoping for.This was a signature win." USA head coach, Cheryl Reeve.

"I am very proud of course but also disappointed in the end that we lost against a great team. But we deserved the win for sure. I saw some very interesting things with players coming off the bench. This gives us a solidified feeling as a team." Belgium head coach, Rachid Meziane.

"I think the loss is disappointing but we did great. It was just little details like offensive rebounds and some turnovers, but I am proud of the team and my personal performance. We just need to go home and fix what we did bad, but we should still enjoy that we had a close game. We need to do better as we have business to do tomorrow and we must win. My teammates always play with fire in the heart." Belgium winger, Maxuella Lisowa-Mbaka