28 July, 2023
05 August
Game Report
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Ruthless Mali easy past Guinea to reach Semi-Finals


KIGALI (Rwanda) - Relentless Mali trounced Guinea to reach the Semi-Finals of the ongoing FIBA Women's AfroBasket.

Except for Djeneba Sangare, all Malian players scored at least two points each as they outclassed Guinea 96-40 for to the largest win margin in the tournament so far.

In the process, Mali advanced to the Last Four of the African Championship for the fourth straight time.

 Masseny Kaba, the only Guinean to score in double digits, finished with 17 points, but Mali ruled the game from start to finish to improve to 3-0 ahead of the Semi-Finals clash against Senegal on Thursday, August 3.

Mali rising start Maimouna Haidara came off the bench to lead four other Malians who scored in double digits.

Haidara had 17 points, Fatoumata Sanou contributed 14, Alima Dembele helped her team with 10 points Djeneba N'Diaye left her mark with 13 points. 

TURNING POINT: Even though Guinea used a 6-0 run at some point in the game, it was a one-sided affair where Mali led from the jump ball to the final buzzer.

HERO: 19-year-old Haidara recalled everyone why she is a force to be reckoned with after making making 7 of her 9 shots while grabbing five rebounds.  

STATS DON'T LIE: A 24-8 lead in the opening quarter that was followed by 27-9 advantage in the final ten minutes proved too much for Guinea to cope with. 

Mali's dominance was translated in the rebounding battle where they grabbed 25 offensive boards, one more than Guinea's defensive rebounds. 

BOTTOM LINE: There's no memory of Mali reaching the Semi-Finals with a perfect record (3-0) in the last three editions of the tournament. Whether this is an indication of a potential title run only time will tell, but one thing is for sure, Uganda (80-66), Senegal (72-49) and Guinea (96-40) have felt Mali's mindset in the Kigali showpiece.

Sika Kone, Djebeba N'Diaye, Maimouna Diarra and center Marian Coulibaly need to stay as competitive in what lies ahead if they are reach the Final for the second time in a row.