AFROBASKET WOMEN

Mali easy past Rwanda to clinch Third-Place

Mali 3rd place

Temps de lecture : 3 mn 🕗

KIGALI (Rwanda) – Two years after finishing second, easy past Rwanda to clinch the Third-Place at the 2023 Women's AfroBasket.

Mali outclassed hosts Rwanda 89-52 to conclude their campaign with a 4-1 mark.

The Malians faced some resistance from Rwanda, but when the Eagles switched to “attack” mode, they embarked on a one-sided affair, making Rwanda look hopeless.

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Djeneba N'Diaye accounted for 13 points and 6 assists.

Alima Dembele held the forte with Sika Kone and Djenea N'Diaye while Mariam Coulibaly made her presence felt at both ends of the floor.

TURNING POINT: The first five minutes of the seemed as if Rwanda could have put up a fight after leading 12-5.

But Mali fought back, and closed the first quarter with a one-point advantage (15-14).

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Sika Kone once again proved her value with 10 points in only 18:40 minutes

Coming back to the court for the second quarter, the Eagles took things in their hands and turned the tables around as Rwanda entered a dry spell. The hosts were outscored 23-9 and they never really bothered Mali.

HEROES: With only 20 minutes spent on the court, Mariam Coulibaly ensured Mali walked away with a win. She grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds (4 offensive) and contributed 9 points to the winning cause.

Alima Dembele and Sika Kone also played a vital roles in Mali's victory as they netted 14 and 10 points respectively, while Djeneba N'Diaye added 13 points to the total.

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Djeneba N'Diaye

STATS DON'T LIE : Mali's win was made of Rwanda's turnovers. Scoring 35 points from Rwanda's errors, Mali capitalised  from every opportunity they had.

Mali were highly dominant near the basket, where they scored 44 of their 89 points. They also scored more points from second chances, fast breaks and had a more productive bench, which contributed 38 points.

BOTTOM LINE: Mali end their 2023 FIBA Women's AfroBasket campaign with a bronze medal while they had the team to make it to the Final.

But they missed the opportunity in the Semi-Finals.

Mali bowed to the same Senegal they beat in the Group Phase.

THEY SAID: “We had a strong, solid start. It was a big tournament, we tried to do our best, because Mali is a good team. We tried to do our best but it didn't work.” Charlotte Umugwaneza, Rwanda captain.

“This was a rather complicated game from a psychological point of view. We had to manage the players' state of mind. But we still go back home with a medal, though it's not what we came here for. We stayed within Mali's standards in African competitions.We'll start to think about what comes next, learn from what happened and hoped that we can do better than what we did this year.” Oumarou Sidiya, Mali's coach.

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