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    Tuesday, March 15, 2022

    Harouna, Stoglin Step Up as AS Salé Improve to 2-2

    Despite SLAC’s aggressiveness in the paint, the two teams headed to the locker room tied 40-40

    AS Salé knew beforehand that the best way to beat SLAC was making Marcus Crawford uncomfortable and play smart offensively to keep their Basketball Africa League (BAL) (www.NBA.com/theBAL) Sahara Conference hopes alive. They did that and they prevailed 91-81.

    Crawford, who was the engine of SLAC ‘s offense for most of the Sahara Conference, fouled out of the game in the third quarter, and the Guinean champions could never find answers to his absence.

    Even so, Crawford finished with team-high 19 points and six assists, Dane Miller Jr. had 17 points, Serigne Mbaye contributed 13 points, but the night belonged to the Moroccan champions.

    Terrel Stoglin paced AS Salé with a game-high 29 points, Abdoulaye Harouna scored 12 of his 25 points from behind the arc, and Alvaro Masa contributed 13 points and 13 rebounds in the winning cause.

    At halftime, SLAC had more offensive rebounds (18) than AS Sale’s 17.

    Despite SLAC’s aggressiveness in the paint, the two teams headed to the locker room tied 40-40.

    “This was a huge for us because it shows that, even when we are not playing well, we still have an ability to win a game,” said AS Sale Head Coach Liz Mills.

    “As a coach, that’s really, really reassuring. The ability for this team to pull this win out of the bag was really impressive.”

    The Australian tactician went on saying: “It is a very important win for AS Salé, we still have one more game and one more win. I think we are qualified, but it depends where we finish and that’s why the win tomorrow is just as important.”

    Khalid Boukichou added 12 points, three rebounds and three assists for AS Salé.

    He said: “This is really big for us. We had a meeting yesterday, where everybody had to say what they think because as a group we have the same objective to go through to the next round. Tonight we showed that our team is getting together is playing like a real team.

    “We focused on their three-point shooting. We took Crawford out of the game. Their coach got mad, we knew that they would be out of focus. We stayed locked in, we didn’t complain that much and it paid off.

    “We have Stoglin who is probably the most talented player in this competition; we have Harouna who can score really easily and we have Masa who is a fighter, if you leave him he makes you pay for it. We have talent on this team, that’s why chemistry is key for us.”

    Mohamed Keita finished with 10 points and 12 rebounds – his first BAL double-double. He admitted that playing without Crawford hurt the team when they least expected.

    “It was really difficult for us. We had some key players in foul trouble. It was very difficult when Chris [Crawford] fouled out. We started to lose control of the game.”

    SLAC have finished their Sahara Conference with a 2-3.

    Keita said the next 24 hours will be all about “praying, praying and praying for other results come our way and get qualified for Kigali.”

    In the last games of the Sahara Conference, AS Salé (2-2) will play Dakar Universite Club (1-3) while Ferroviário da Beira (1-3) will go against Rwanda Energy Group (3-1).

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