Kigali — Senegal gave Kenya a rude welcome to the Fiba Afrobasket qualifiers after the West Africans walloped Cliff Owuor's charges 92-54 on Wednesday in Kigali, Rwanda.
The Kenyans, who were missing key men Griffin Ligare, Bush Wamukota and Preston Bungei in this opening fixture of the Group B encounter, had a fourth quarter to forget where they were outscored 34-2 by the superior Senegalese.
The troubled Kenyans started the match strongly but the Senegalese clawed their way back into the game to end the first quarter 19-19. Senegal then outscored Kenya 28-14 to take a 47-33 lead into the break.
But Owuor's men returned for third quarter with other ideas and cut Senegal's lead to just six points to set up what would have been an entertaining fourth quarter. But the West Africans turned up and never looked back, punished the sloppy Kenyans in the paint.
Fielding only 10 players, Morans took the game to the Senegalese with Eric Mutoro and Tylor Okari combining for an early 5-3 scoreline inside the first two minutes.
The Senegalese were lifted by Ibrahima Fall Faye and point guard Hannah Clevin rallied to tie the score 8-8 but an on form Ariel Okal and Valentine Nyakinda ensured Morans were on the driving seat with back up from indefatigable Mutoro and Victor Bosire.
Lack of concentration saw Faye Fall and Hannah combine for eight points in the last one minute of the quarter to tie the scores 19-19.
Owuor started the second quarter with the second unit, opting to rest Desmond Owili and Okari, a move that allowed the Senegalese easy runs racing to 29-19 inside the first three minutes with Pape Abdoe Badji, Hannah and Mbaye Ndiaye the destroyers in chief.
Fall Faye top-scored for Senegal with 19 points, Pape Abdoe 13 and Hannah 12 while Okari was Kenya's main man with 13 points. Desmond Owili had 11 and Ariel Okal contributed 11 points.
"We started very well but ran out of gas therefore letting the match slip away. We hope to do better in tomorrow's clash against Angola," Kenya coach Owuor said.
The Kenyans were poor from beyond the arc, shooting only 21 percent to Senegal's 48 percent, they were also second best from the field goals, shooting 31 percent to Senegal's 60 percent.
Ligare's absence was hugely felt, with Kenya only managing 12 assists the whole game and were out-rebounded 48-44.
Kenya might have Bungei and Ligare available against Angola. Bungei's passport was printed on Wednesday and Ligare arrived early enough and should complete the mandatory one-day quarantine on time.