BAMAKO (FIBA Women’s AfroBasket 2017) – Record champions Senegal overcame a stubborn Democratic Republic of Congo side 70-63 to maintain an unbeaten run at the ongoing FIBA Women’s AfroBasket 2017 in the Malian capital of Bamako.
"It was important to win today. It was a tough game but we did it. We are here to defend our title and we know it is going to be hard because all the teams want to beat us." - Traore
With this victory, Senegal have secured a place in the Quarter-Finals and joined Nigeria and Angola who secured their slots earlier in the day.
Senegal bounced back from an early scare when DR Congo led 24-20 at the end of the first quarter to establish a three-point lead at the half-time break 40-37.
Led by center Bernadette Nyangiso, the three-time former African champions poised a challenge and kept Senegal on their toes but experience and pedigree came into play with Ndeye Sene and Oumoul Thiam shooting important three-pointers to keep their side in the lead.
DR Congo asked the kind of questions Senegal was yet to face at this competition and even though they won, Senegal coach Moustapha Gaye will have something to think about tonight.
"It was important to win today. It was a tough game but we did it. We are here to defend our title and we know it is going to be hard because all the teams want to beat us," Traore told FIBA.basketball.
"I think it is very important if I am into the game. If I score it is thanks to the team. My presence is very important for the group as I give them confidence. I always give hundred percent of myself to help my sisters," she said.
Traore is Senegal's leading scorer at the tournament with three game highs including 26points, 29 and 19 against Guinea, Mozambique and Democratic Republic of Congo in that order.