National women's basketball team, Kenya Lionesses, mauled South Sudan 66-48 in their second FIBA Africa Women’s Zone Five Qualifiers match in Kigali on Tuesday.
After a humiliating 77-45 loss to Rwanda on the opening day, Kenya seemed to have done their homework well.
Starting four of its diaspora-based players — captain Rose Ouma, Felmas Koranga, Mercy Wanyama and Victoria Reynolds — Kenya went to work early.
After Natalie Akinyi opened the scoring with a three-pointer, Wanyama, Reynolds and Koranga's efforts set Kenya off on a 16-9 first quarter advantage.
South Sudan closed in 12-16 as Kenya went on a drought stretching over six minutes before a Melissa Akinyi free throw gave them their first point
Reynolds completed a three-point play for a 20-12 cushion as Koranga started to dominate inside. The duo had 10 points each as Kenya led 26-14 halftime.
After resumption, Kenya continued to pile on points with Ouma, Wanyama and Koranga who picked up another 7 points in this quarter, doing the damage.
South Sudan, playing in their first-ever FIBA competition struggled to hit the target for long stretches and trailed 47-24 at the end of the third stanza.
The deciding quarter was easy for Kenya who seemed to have found their groove. Live wire Koranga was too hot to handle for the losers igniting a 62-38 cushion.
“Yesterday we lacked aggression and execution and today the team kept on looking for everyone who was dropping shots,” Koranga said after the match.
She registered a game-high 23 points, Reynolds contributed 12 while Ouma and Wanyama combined for another 14 of the team points.
Nyamer scored 10 points and Perina James tallied 13 for Lindsey Harding’s charges who pressed to stop the bleeding but to no avail.
On Wednesday, the Lionesses play reigning champions Egypt while South Sudan meet hosts Rwanda. - DANN O’WERRE, The Star