France recovers unconvincingly against Mali and approaches the quarterfinals

After their logical defeat against Canada, Les Bleues reacted this Sunday by dominating Mali (74-59) and are getting closer to qualifying for the World Cup quarterfinals.

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The rebound of the France team was expected. Two days after a big defeat against Canada (59-45), Les Bleues reacted by dominating Mali (74-59), on Sunday, September 25, for the third day of the World Cup group stage. Thanks to this second unconvincing success in the competition, France continue to take a big step towards qualifying for the quarter-finals before facing Japan on Monday.

Jean-Aimé Toupane’s players were slow to distance themselves from a surprising team from Mali. Following in the footsteps of Alexia Chartereau (and her 12 points scored in the first half), they went 20-3 between the end of the second and the start of the third quarter to turn the score around (from 26-29 to 46-32, 2. 3).

This period symbolized the only French coup in the game. In a great offensive breakout against Canada on Thursday, the Habs certainly set the goal (29/62 shooting) but lacked other ingredients to replicate a performance similar to their opening win over Australia (70-57).

In aggressiveness, Gabby Williams’s teammates (14 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists) were surpassed by Mali, as in the beginning of the game. The current African runners-up even widened the first difference of the match (19-13, 8th) thanks to an impressive offensive rebound performance (8 receptions and 9 second-chance points in the first quarter). Sika Koné also reigned in this area for forty minutes (18 points and 18 rebounds).

Because of an attack that is still trying to find itself in the absence of four of its five best scorers from the Olympic Games, France waited until the last seconds to come out for good. Marième Badiane (6 points) increasing the difference to more than ten units.

If doubts persist about the real level of the Blue, the team of the captain Sarah Michel (5 points) still pockets a second victory in three games. Another victory, on Monday against Japan (8 hours), would almost validate the classification in the quarterfinals. This would already be a successful first step.

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