AfroBasket 2013: Four teams remain unbeaten

The story on Day 4 of AfroBasket 2013 was blowouts as the average margin of victory for the four games played was just over 39 points. The closest game of the day was between an injury-ridden Nigeria and the Republic of Congo, 93:78. The rest of the match-ups were as one-sided as they come with Morocco handling Rwanda, 85:57, Tunisia destroying Burkina Faso, 100:45, and Cameroon holding Mali to 17 points through three quarters, on their way to an 89:35 win.

AfroBasket 2013Currently, after two games, the host club from the Ivory Coast sits on top of Group A with a 2-0 record; Tunisia controls Group B, also at 2-0; Angola is perfect at 2-0 in Group C. Group D has a showdown planned for Sunday as both Cameroon and Nigeria are currently 2-0 and will square off to see which will take the lead in the group.

Group B
Morocco – Rwanda, 87:57
Morocco made quick work of Rwanda to remain in contention for advancement out of Group B with an 87:57 victory. Morocco improves to 1-1 and in a tie with Rwanda. Morocco has the easier contest coming up on Tuesday as they’ll match up against winless Burkina Faso, while Rwanda’s road just keeps getting tougher with a contest against unbeaten and defending champions Tunisia.

Morocco wasted no time in taking control of game, getting out 19:0 in the first five minutes before Rwanda picked up a pair of free throws with four and a half minutes to play in the first quarter. The clubs played evenly for the rest of the frame, ending the first 10 with the Moroccans up 30:10.

Rwanda seemed to get their game in synch, until midway through the second quarter when Morocco ran off 12 unanswered to extend their lead to 30, 50:20. They closed out the half with five straight to cut into the margin slightly, but they still headed to their dressing room down 25, 50:25.

The string of Rwandan hoops continued as the third quarter got underway, with seven more points going on the board before Morocco would hit the cords. After the 12-point run, Rwanda trailed by 19, 53:34. Unfortunately, Morocco put up 10 straight of their own to push the lead back to 29, 63:34. To continue the pattern, Rwanda outscored Morocco 11:3 to close out the quarter down by 21, 66:45.

Rwanda came out fighting again in the fourth, putting up a 8:2 run to cut the lead to 15, 68:53, with eight and a half minutes on the clock. The well dried up though and Morocco took full advantage and showed no mercy, scoring the next 19 points, to get up 87:53 with a minute to play. Rwanda got the last four points, but that only served to reduce the deficit to 30 on the night, 87:57.

Abdelhakim Zouita lead Morocco with 21 points, followed by Abderrahim Najah’s 20. Kenneth Gasanav paced Rwanda with 22, while Cameroun Bradley added 15.

Tunisia – Burkina Faso, 100:45
Tunisia continued on their way to a repeat as the AfroBasket champions with a 55-point victory over Burkina Faso. The win gives Tunisia a 2-0 record and the top spot in Group B.

Macram Ben Romdhane led the way for Tunisia with 23, giving him 22 points per game average after two games. Mourad El Mabrouk added 16 points, and Salah Mejri contributed 13. Burkina Faso was led by Joris Ambroise Bruno’s 14 points.

Group D
Cameroon – Mali, 89:35
In the other 50+ point differential contest of the day, Cameroon held Mali to just 17 points through three quarters to pick up their second win of the AfroBasket 2013 competition. Mali drops to 0-2 with the loss.

AfroBasket 2013By halftime Cameroon was already up 49:12, then put up another 29 in the third to give themselves a 78:17 advantage. Mali was able to put up some points on the Cameroon reserves in the fourth frame, outscoring them 18:11.

Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and Jeremy Nzeulie put up 16 points each for Cameroon, while Namory Boundy scored 8 for Mali.

Nigeria – Republic of Congo, 93:75
Nigeria stayed even with Cameroon in the standings with a 93:75 win over the Republic of Congo on Friday. The win keeps Nigeria undefeated at 2-0, while the loss drops Congo to 0-2. Nigeria will now face Cameroon on Sunday with the top spot in Group D up-for-grabs.

The Nigerians got things heated up early, building a 10-point lead int he first, then adding 11 in the second to take a 53:32 score into the break.

Congo got things moving in the third, getting seven points back by outscoring Nigeria 26:19, to send the contest to the final frame with Nigeria up 72:58.

The margin was cut to 12 midway through the frame, but then the Nigerians ran off seven straight to kill any chance of a fourth-quarter rally.

Alade Aminu was game-high with 23 points for Nigeria, while Ike Diogu added 20 to the win. Giovan Oniangue dropped 19 in for Congo.

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