YAOUNDE (AfroBasket Women 2015) - Mali, one of the frontrunners at AfroBasket Women 2015, opened their campaign with a dominant 69-27 Group A defeat of South Africa in Yaounde, Cameroon, on Thursday.
Turning Point: Mali stepped on floor with a wining mindset, and South Africa were unable to stop them. Mali went on to lead the contest from start to finish.
Despite winning by a 42-point margin, Amare Traore’s team led by as many as 44 points.
Mali dominated the entire contest, especially in the battle near the basket where they out-rebounded South Africa 51-32.
Game Hero: Mali's Kankou Coulibaly scored 10 of her game-high 11 points in the first half, and added five rebounds to help Mali seal an easy victory.
Both Lindiwe Shabangu and Nosipho Njokweni paced South Africa with team-highs eight points apiece, the game belonged to Mali.
Bottom Line: Unless South Africa readjust defense and offensively, they might find their Group A campaign highly compromised.
Ahead of facing hosts Cameroon on Friday, Mali, who entered the tournament as favourites in Group A, remain to be seriously tested.
Cameroon should be the tougher and more competitive opponent that the Western Africans will face in the Group Phase.