Reynolds, Akinyi star for Kenya
Kenya national women’s basketball team, Lionesses, recovered from their opening defeat against hosts Cameroon by beating Cape Verde on Sunday evening in their second match of the ongoing 2021 Fiba Women’s Afrobasket in Yaounde, Cameroon.
American-born Kenyan international Victoria Reynolds and fast-rising Christine Akinyi put up incredible individual performances in the match, rallying Lionesses back to winning ways with a hard-fought 61-58 victory.
The Lionesses were the first off the block taking the first quarter 16-12 but flopped in the second one allowing Cape Verde to win it 12-21 to go into the breather trailing 28-33.
However, on resumption, the Kenyan girls showed aggressiveness and fought back to take the subsequent third and fourth quarters 15-13 and 18-12 to emerge 61-58 winners.
The win came off 48 rebounds against Cape Verde’s 43, 28 turnovers, 13 steals, and four blocks where Reynolds top-scored for Lionesses with 17 points, making five assists, five rebounds, four steals, and one block.
Akinyi was, however, the match-winner as her four points in the final minute of the game counted most and proved invaluable for Lionesses’ victory by the end of the buzzer.
The Lionesses were trailing 58-56 with one minute and three seconds to go, but Akinyi’s two quick two-pointer jump shots in the 55th and 32nd seconds of the game assisted by Selina Okuma and Natalie Mwangale to seal off the victory.
Kenya now have a possibility of finishing second in Group A, to make it to the quarterfinals qualification playoff on Wednesday.