Beijing, Sept 2 : Guillent Heissler contributed a game-high 29 points as Venezuela took their first victory of the tournament, winning over Cote d'Ivoire 87-71 in Group A at FIBA World Cup here on Monday.
Heissler, who hit six of nine 3-pointers, got 29 points and four assists for Venezuela, while Cote d'Ivoire's Charles Abouo topped the team in 16 points
Both sides, lost in their first round of matches, opened fire beyond the arc in the opening period on Monday. Cote d'Ivoire shot eight of ten and the Venezuelans had a 53% field goal percentage in the quarter.
The higher shooting accuracy, however, didn't guarantee the west African side a lead as Venezuela controlled the paint area and got five offensive rebounds. Venezuela led 26-17 by the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, Cote d'Ivoire geared up to play tough defense and made a tough long range 3-pointer, cutting the deficit to 26-22. But the Latin American powerhouse, with the 32-year-old Guillent scoring nine points, entered halftime with a 49-32 advantage.
The Venezuelan side never seemed contested by the African team in the second half as they maintained the double-digit lead to close the game in 87-71.
Cote d'Ivoire, has only theoretical chances to qualify for the final 16 after the defeat, will play against Poland on Wednesday. Venezuela will face the challenge from the host team China on the same day. (XINHUA)