By Spy Uganda
FIBA Africa Zone 5 reigning champions Kenya on Thursday remained as the only team without tasting defeat at the ongoing regional qualifier for the Women’s AfroBasket. Uganda shut down South Sudan.
Kenya Lionesses pulled away in the last quarter to beat Rwanda 69-58 at MTN Arena, Lugogo in Kampala, Uganda.
While Kenya improved to 2-0, Rwanda dropped to 0-2.
The winners, who posted their second win in the competition had it all too easy as soon as the game started with a 13-0 advantage after Mercy Wanyama had opened the flood gates with a quick basket. They were up 17-5 in the first stanza.
Rwanda opened their account with 4:34 left in the quarter on a basket by Rosine Micomyiza before going on to lead 20-12 in the second as Kenya lost their groove and struggled to hit the rim.
Kenya were in shambled defensively while also failing to hit the target and allowing Rwanda to charge back on efforts by Odille Tetero and Martine Umohoza to close in 29-25.
Rwanda then started to dictate the tempo putting on a better show in the third quarter as they stormed close at 48-46 edge mostly on deadly perimeter shooting as they dimed Kenya 21-19 as the quarter ended,
Then Wanyama, Reynolds and Christine Akinyi deadly combination saw Kenya roll away again, this time for good. A fast break by Akinyi made it a ten-point game at 62-52 with 4:47 to play giving Rwanda no room to recover.
Wanyama scored 16 points, Reynolds bagged 15 and had seven rebounds, while Melissa Akinyi hit 12. Tetero grabbed 18 and Diamond Richardson bagged 10 as the loser sank a total of 10 three-pointers.
Uganda made it two wins in three games as they punished South Sudan 74-53 in the last fixture of the day that brought more joy to their home fans.
The hosts blasted off to a 8-0 cushion before the South Sudanese nailed two three-pointers to lose in 8-6. Uganda took a 23-15 lead in the first quarter on a Rita Imanishimwe trey.
This game was far from over when a turn shot by Rose Makuei helped South Sudan to close the margin at 24-25. But Oketcho free shots pushed the home team ahead 27-24..
In the third quarter, a controlled display by Uganda saw them sunk baskets at will as they rampaged to a huge 20-7 advantage. South Sudan had no response to the barrage of shots as the stanza ended with a 20-7 cushion.
The fourth saw Uganda motor away on back to back three point bombs from Imanishimwe and Oketcho as the scores ballooned to 65-41.
The bottom fell for South Sudan as the tie soon became a one way traffic Uganda, roared on by a delirious crowd were up and running and with 3:31 left to play, foul shot by Imanishimwe made it a 30 point with the scores reading 73-43.
Brendan Ekure and Hope Akello registered 14 points each, Jannon Otto picked up 13 while Maria Najjuma picked up 10 points to go with 18 rebounds.
For the South Sudanese, Rose Macuei managed a double double of 15 points and 17 rebounds. Both teams have played three consecutive games with Uganda (2-1) and South Sudan (1-2).