Giants Belarus will sleep easier this Christmas after getting their EuroBasket Women 2017 qualifying campaign back on track in the second round of games.
Belarus go 1-1 after a 76-71 midweek home win in Minsk over Group G rivals Belgium, anchored by 24 go-to points from centre Anastasia Verameyenka, who shot an unplayable 9/11 from the floor.
In Group A Lithuania will not rest easy after going 0-2 following a 73-64 home loss in Kedainiai to now 1-0 rivals Slovenia.
Slovenian guard/forward Maja Erkic said afterwards: “We were smart. In the middle of the game we had some bad minutes, but we were patient and that got us the result.”
In Group B Croatia pull themselves back into contention with a 1-1 record after a 67-55 road win in Estonia, who slide to 0-2.
Estonia had led their rivals by as many as 11 points in Tallinn on Wednesday, but were pivotally outscored 29-7 in the third quarter.
Elsewhere in Group B, France remain perfect and go 2-0 following a 76-52 win at Holland, who are now 1-1 in the standings where only the nine pool winners are guaranteed qualification alongside hosts Czech Republic for the 2017 tournament.
France’s bench overwhelmed Holland’s reserves 34-13 in the contest.
In Group C, Montenegro smashed Albania by 60 points 99-39 to go 2-0 and leave the visitors to Podgorica 0-2 heading into round three of six in qualifying on February 20, 2016.
Albania turned possession over a fatal 32 times on the night.
Elsewhere in Group C, Great Britain could not prevent slipping to 0-2 following a frustrating 60-48 home defeat at the Amaechi Centre in Manchester to 2-0 Italy.
Veteran forward Laura Macchi led the visitors with 27 points as GB dried up completely on offence in the fourth quarter, shooting 0/10 on their final 10 attacks.
In Group D, Ukraine stole a heartstopper 66-64 in Germany to go 2-0 and leave their hosts 0-2.
In Marburg Germany fatally dried up on offence late in the fourth, missing their last four attempts from the field after leading 64-62.
Reigning EuroBasket Women champions Serbia annihilated 0-2 Luxembourg 132-38 elsewhere in Group D to go 2-0.
Serbia coach Marina Maljkovic got 66 points from her bench on a productive evening all-round.
In Group E, Hungary climb to 2-0 after beating 0-2 hosts Portugal convincingly by 17 points, 67-50.
Hungary pieced together a decisive 18-3 streak in the third quarter and held Portugal to 33 per cent shooting from the floor on defence.
Elsewhere in Group E, Slovak Republic are 2-0 after a 72-55 win at 0-2 Iceland.
Slovak Republic continually frustrated and denied Iceland’s attempts to attack the rack, with 11 blocks on defence.
In Group F, powerhouse Russia smashed Switzerland on the road by 38 points, 86-48 to go 2-0.
Switzerland, who slide to 0-2, were destroyed 50-12 on the night in points in the paint.
Elsewhere in Group F, 2-0 Greece march on emphatically after a 74-40 road win over rivals Bulgaria.
Greece already led by 12 points when, either side of half-time, they hit their hosts with a 14-0 run.
In Group H, Romania won a thriller 78-77 at Israel to go 2-0 and leave their hosts 0-2 heading into 2016.
The nail biter finally turned when Israel guard Alysha Clark failed to add to her game-high 27 points on the hosts’ final attack; Romania guard Annemarie Parau rebounded the loose ball, was fouled and drilled 2/2 free-throws to win it.
Elsewhere in Group H, Turkey go 2-0 and leave opponents Bosnia and Herzegovina 0-2 after a dominant 79-50 road victory. Turkey outscored Bosnia in each of the fourth quarters.
Finally, in Group I, 2013 EuroBasket Women winners Spain crushed visitors Finland by 41 points, 86-45 to finish 2015 perfect and 2-0. Spain led Finland 49-15 in Zamora at the half-time break.