What you need to know:
- The Lionesses pushed their opponents in the first two quarters but trailed 21-17 and 18-16 to fall 39-33 at halftime. However, they were blown away in the third quarter 26-9 and despite outscoring Cameroon 11-9 in the last quarter, the damage had already been done.
Kenya women's basketball team got their Fiba AfroBasket Championship campaign off to a losing start after going down 74-50 to hosts Cameroon in their pool "A" opener on Saturday.
The Lionesses pushed their opponents in the first two quarters, but trailed 21-17 and 18-16 to fall 39-33 at halftime. However, they were blown away in the third quarter 26-9 and despite outscoring Cameroon 11-9 in the last quarter, the damage had already been done.
The Lionesses were within six points reach after the first 20 minutes, but we're completely undone in the third quarter and never recovered.
Natalie Akinyi and Spain-based Mercy Wanyama jointly top-scored for Kenya with 12 points apiece. Marina Ewodo scored 12 points for the hosts.
The loss puts Kenya in an awkward position as they need to register a huge win against Cape Verde on Sunday to revive their hopes of getting an automatic quarterfinal ticket if Cameroon fails to floor the Islanders.
Earlier, former champions Senegal sent an early warning after mauling Guinea 100-31 in the opening match of the 25th edition of the competition.
The Lionesses of Teranga, who have finished the last two editions in second place, led the Guineans 48-19 at halftime after taking the first two quarters 25-10 and 23-9 respectively.
They also restricted the Guinea side to below double-digit points in the last periods which the Senegalese comfortably bagged 23-8 and 29-4 in that order.
Yacine Diop scored the most points in the match and for Senegal (19), while Guinea had Masseny Kaba as their highest scorer (seven).
The best two teams from the 12-nation biennial competition will advance to one of the qualifying tournaments for the 2022 Fiba Women's Basketball World Cup.