Temps de lecture : 3 mn 🕗
KIGALI (rwanda) – Senegal on Wednesday won their second straight game to advance to the 2023 FIBA Women's AfroBasket Semi-Finals.
It was a statement of Senegal's determination to stay in contention and try to win their 12th African Championship – first since 2015.
Coming off the bench for the first time in the tournament – after a two-point performance against Egypt – Cierra Dillard was the reason Senegal edged out cameroon 80-77.
The win means Senegal are headed to the Semi-Finals with a 2-2 mark while Cameroon will compete for their best positioning in the classification Round for the 5th to 8th Place.
Jessica Thomas did everything she could, leading Cameroon with 22 points; Marina Ewodo and Carine Silatsa had 14 points apiece and Hermine Ngueko contributed 13 points, but no reserve player scored more than eight points.
TURNING POINT: Cameroon led 69-67 with 2:37 minutes remaining, but when the Lionesses took a 73-71 lead with a minute on the shot clock Moustapha Gaye's team saw a superb opportunity to show what they are made of and never trailed again to close the game out with the campaign-change victory.
Cierra Janay Dillard
HERO: Dillard turned out as Senegal's saviour. She not only finished 3 for 6 from long range, but she also dished out a team-high six assists in what was her best performance with the Senegalese uniform on.
STATS DON'T LIE: The biggest difference between Cameroon and Senegal was the way reserve players rose to the occasion. Senegal's substitutes – led by Dillard – outscored Cameroon's 48-10.
Couna Ndao was 3-for-4 from behind the arc to help Senegal reach the Semi-Finals
BOTTOM LINE: When Cameroon and Senegal faced each other in the battle for the third place two years ago, hosts Cameroon prevailed 53-49, but this time round it was a total different ball game with Senegal showing an impressive improvement from their slow start to the tournament.
With the win Senegal reached the Semi-Finals of the tournament for the 13th time in a row and avoid what would have been a disastrous campaign had they continued their losing run.
What comes next for Senegal? A mouthwatering Semi-Finals against Mali, which will be Senegal's toughest test in tournament before the final.
THEY SAID: “I just needed to stay in attack mode, stay aggressive, stay vigilant.. We have a great team and great outside shooters. I knew if I kept attacking throughout the game my shooters will be open… I just continued to play team ball. Credit to my teammates.” – Senegal guard Cierra Dillard.