EUROBASKET WOMEN QUALIFIERS
|Anastasiya Verameyenka scored two crucial baskets in crunch time to help Belarus edge Hungary.|
Belarus survived at home against Hungary and won their opening Qualification Round game on Wednesday.
New coach Rimantas Grigas was able to breathe a sigh of relief as the hosts won, 51-47.
Hungary played hard and well under their new coach, Stefan Svitek, and had Belarus fans crossing their fingers for luck in the final minutes.
The naturalized guard Alexandria Quigley of Hungary knotted the contest at 47-47 with a fast-break jumper just 4:24 from the end.
She had eight points in the contest.
Both teams then missed jumpers but Hungary's veteran Anna Vajda grabbed an offensive rebound, only to turn the ball back over to the hosts.
Belarus called a timeout and Grigas made sure his players got the ball into the hands of their MVP, center Anastasiya Verameyenka.
The 24-year-old went up strong and made a lay-up for a 49-47 Belarus lead.
Neither side scored again until Verameyenka powered her way up for a basket with just 26 seconds to go.
With point guard Natallia Marchanka having retired from the national team and center Yelena Leuchanka not able to play this summer while she competes in the NBA, much is expected of Verameyenka.
She finished with 12 points and nine rebounds.
Another of the Belarus veterans, Katsiaryna Snytsina, weighed in with 10 points.
Hungary's 20-year-old guard Krisztina Raksányi led a balanced scoring attack with 10 points.
Vajda had 10 rebounds to go with her eight points and Nora Nagy-Bujdosó finished with seven points and eight boards.
Hungary missed all 10 of their shots from long range while Belarus were four of 10.