Mozambique overwhelm Lionesses from Kenya in women Afrobasket duel
Kenya national women’s basketball team, Kenya Lionesses, put up a spirited fight against experienced Mozambique in the pre-quarterfinal playoff of the ongoing 27th edition of the biennial Fiba Women’s Afrobasket championship on Wednesday evening but came short of victory.
Lionesses were hoping to beat Mozambique and book a slot in the quarterfinals scheduled for today, giving everything they had but their efforts fell short as Mozambique’s experience and exposure in the championship proved the difference, going on to win the knockout encounter 72-50.
Mozambique started off with an early 2-0 points lead but unrelenting Lionesses fought hard, rallying back to level matters and at some point, leading 3-2, 5-4, 6-4, 10-9 inside five minutes 41 seconds.
However, stunned Mozambican side regrouped to score 11 unanswered points to take a huge 20-10 lead before Reynolds responded with a two-pointers shot to reduce the gap to 20-12 but determined Mozambique added four quick points to win the opening quarter 24-12.
Mozambique continued with their ruthless attack in the second quarter winning it 17-11 to take a health-commanding 41-23 lead at the end of halftime, leaving Lionesses to play catch up.
Despite trailing, and highly marked Victoria Reynolds led Lionesses’ fight back with nine points and two steals, followed by impressive Melissa Otieno who scored eight points with Natalie Mwangale helping the team with four points, one assist and three steals, Vilma Owino joining the mix with two extra points, captain Rose Ouma with a point, Brenda Wasuda with one steal, Mercy Wanyama with two blocks and an assist as Christine Akinyi scored one point, made one assist and one steal by end of halftime.
On resumption, both teams tried to tighten their defense with Lionesses showing a glimpse of a comeback but their opponents put up an exciting show towards the end of the third quarter, winning it 16-10 to extend their lead to 57-33, heading in the final quarter.