Gazelles overwhelm DRC to reach Women’s AfroBasket quarterfinals

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Uganda’s Gazelles have qualified for the Women’s AfroBasket after beating the Democratic Republic of Congo 78-62 on Tuesday night.

It’s the first time Uganda is reaching the knockout round of the continent’s premier basketball competition.

The Gazelles played a scrappy first half in which they committed 14 turnovers, shot 6-of-13 from the line and missed easy layups.

However, they cleaned up in the third quarter with some full-court press that troubled the Congolese as they assumed a lead took it to double-digits.

In the fourth quarter, the team played a careful slow offense and led by as many as 23 points with under 4 minutes to play. Coach Alberto Antuna emptied his bench with Ritah Imanishimwe and Evelyn Nakiyingi getting a run at the tournament for the first time.

Janon Otto led the way with her smooth midrange game pilling up a game-high 18 points to go with 9 rebounds. Jane Asinde who played the second half with 3 fouls matched the game-high while Claire Lamunu (12 points and 14 rebounds) and Melissa Akullu (10 points and 9 rebounds) also reached double-figure scoring.

Youngster Lydia Babirye dropped 11 dimes including a highlight reel pass to Akullu from her own half. She also contributed 7 points. Hope Akello pulled down 11 rebounds and scored 6 points.

DRC’s losing effort was led by Gracia Nguz who scored 15 points off the bench while point guard Ketia Mbelu contributed 13 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists.

Alberto Antuna’s charges will battle hosts Rwanda at 7:00pm (EAT) on Wednesday for a place in the semifinals.

Source: Kawowo

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