Diabate came up with game-highs of 17 points and 8 assists as the Western Africans won their their first game in Group D.
Zimbabwe's big man Vitalis Chikoko, who was called for his fourth foul late in the third quarter and forced to sit out, also had 17 points to go with a game-high 10 rebounds, however it was not good enough to prevent the team from losing for the second time in as many games.
Turning Point: Zimbabwe had a short-lived five-point lead early on, but Cote d'Ivoire managed to close the first quarter up 14-11 and never trailed again and were up 32-22 at half-time.
Stats Don't Lie: Making only 11 of their 23 free throws did not help the Zimbabweans. To make matters even worse, they turned the ball over 21 times.
Game Hero: Diabate appeared to be experiencing knee pain during the game, but head coach Hugues Occansey only rested him for 3:37 minutes. His presence on court had a significant impact for the Ivoirians.
The Bottom Line: Even though Cote d'Ivoire got their first win, the 'Elephants' will have to play a lot better to move forward in the competition. Diabate remains their inspirational leader on the court, but it remains to be seen how they respond against tougher opposition. As for Zimbabwe, they need to regroup and control the ball better in order to make history in winning their first game in AfroBasket.