YAOUNDE (AfroBasket Women 2015) Maimouna Diarra stepped up when Senegal needed her most as they held on to a 70-62 victory over Algeria in Friday’s AfroBasket Women 2015 Group B action in Yaounde, Cameroon.
Turning Point: Algeria’s Lina Mahsas hit one of her 3 three-pointers to cut the deficit to 31-29 with 1:30 minute remaining for half-time, but that was a short-lived attempt to comeback in the game as Diarra scored five consecutive points from the painted area to give Senegal a 36-29 half-time lead.
Stats Don't Lie: Up to the third quarter Algeria were almost perfect from the free-throw (93 percent), but missing 8 of 17 free-throws in the final quarter not only spoiled their attempt to win their first game in the tournament, but also left Algeria in a tough position they are yet to face title contenders Angola and Nigeria.
As well as dominating the painted area, Senegal out-rebounded Algeria 48-33.
Game Hero: Although Diarra fouled out 3:25 minutes left as Senegal led 62-52, the 1.98m centre was clearly the game-changer for the Senegalese.
Bottom Line: Algeria re-emerged stronger as never seen before, and made Senegal’s game really difficult. Mahsas, Sarah Nemmouchi, Shahnez Boushaki and Soumeya Regani combined for 60 Algeria points, but the team’s bench could only add two points.
“No one expected to play such a hard game against Senegal,” Mahsas said to FIBA.com. “This game will sure build on our confidence levels. We are ready to face Angola and Nigeria,” the 1.80m forward added.