Undefeated No More

Cameroon’s quest to go undefeated in pool play at FIBA Africa came up just short.

Despite a tournament-high 18 points from Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, the Cameroonians fell for the first time at AfroBasket, 91-84 to Nigeria on Sunday.

In what was by far the most closely contested game of the competition so far for Cameroon, Nigeria built a first quarter lead just to have it dissolve in the second quarter. Luc put the Lions ahead at the half with a bucket late in the second quarter which made it 40-39 at the break.

Cameroon carried that momentum into the third and built a lead as high as nine points, but Nigeria closed the quarter strong and the difference was just three at the end of the third, setting up an exciting finish. The lead changed hands several times over the final frame and with less than two minutes to go the Lions led 82-81. New Orleans Pelicans forward Al-Farouq Aminu hit a three to give Nigeria the lead, but Luc answered with a deuce to tie it at 84.

Unfortunately those were the last points Cameroon would score as Nigeria made two key buckets down the stretch, got the stops they needed against the Lions offense and closed out the game at the free throw line.

Cameroon finished pool play 2-1 to take second in Group D behind Nigeria. Both advance to tournament play, which begins Monday.

Luc, who also tallied a pair of assists and three rebounds to go with his 18 points finished pool play with averages of 13 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.7 steals per game.


Cameroon (2-1) will take on Mozambique (1-2) on Monday in the first round of pool play.