France overcomes Kone’s massive double-double
FRANCE was able to get the job done against Mali, when the two sides went head to head in Sunday’s 2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup action, with the former triumphing to the tune of 15 points at the Sydney Superdome.
Despite a herculean effort from Sika Kone, Mali could just not hold on against a determined France side, who have started the tournament in reasonably good fashion and remain a dark horse to take it all out against the likes of China and the United States.
Mali was actually the faster starting side, bursting out to a strong start on the offensive end and registering 20-plus points for the first term, which has proven to be a winning formula thus far. At the first change of play, it was Mali who held a four-point advantage, making an upset win a very real posibility.
The script was flipped in the second term however, as the French got on top with some disciplined defence that translated to some potent offence in the fast break. Mali’s inexperience was begninng to show, and its quarter-time advantage was turned into a 10-point deficit at the main break.
It was a tense second half, and while Mali was able to stop the bleeding compared to the damage of the second quarter, it was not dominant enough to stop France’s tough style of play, eventually falling 74-59.
Gabby Williams continued her hot start to the tournament, delivering yet another all-around performance. She was immense when France needed a spark after a disappointing opening quarter, eventually finishing the game with 14 points, seven boards and six assists.
Despite the disappointing result, Mali’s Kone was the player of the contest, proving to have a serious impact on the game and stopping the final margin from being any worse. Kone was a monster on the boards, pulling down a whopping 18 for the match, seven of those being on the offensive end. She matched this with 18 points, constantly proving to be a threat when she had ball in hand. It was one of the most impressive individual outings of the contest and had her teammates been more prominant, could’ve led Mali to victory.