Nigeria’s women basketball team, D’Tigress, became the first African team to win two games in the history of FIBA competitions, as they defeated Argentina 75-70 in their last group game at the Women’s World
Cup on Tuesday.
The victory meant D’Tigress finished second in their group behind Australia and will now face Greece for a place in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.
The Nigerians started as the more aggressive side, but they endured two missed shots, one turnover and a
block before Ezinne Kalu assisted Aisha Mohammed for the first points of the game.
Three turnovers and a couple of missed shots later, Argentina hadtaken the lead at 4-2, but D’Tigress responded with a 8-0 run to lead 10-4, before Ornella Santana sank a three point shot to stem the tide.
D’Tigress went on another run, this time scoring seven straight points, before
Argentina made another basket.
Promise Amukamara nailed one of two free throws at the end of the first quarter, to make the score 19-13.
Argentina returned for the second quarter, and were the better side in the early exchanges.
Nigeria used a barnstorming third quarter performance to put Turkey away on Sunday, but Argentina proved more resilient.
Melissa Gretter scored the first point of the quarter, before Aisha Mohammed and
Adora Elonu again stretched the lead.
But the two sides were knotted at 38 points before Kalu’s driving layup again pushed D’Tigress’ noses in front.
Both teams then exchanged leads and were again tied at 48 points before Elonu and Akhator made baskets to hand Nigeria a 51-48 lead going into the final quarter.
Five Nigerians scored in double figures: Promise Amukamara (16 points), Aisha Mohammed and Ezinne Kalu (12 points apiece), Elonu and Akhator (10 points each).
For the second straight game, Akhator was the only player with double figures as she also snagged 13 rebounds.
President Muhammadu Buhari has taken to his official Twitter handle to congratulate the Nigeria’s women basketball team for recording their second straight win at the ongoing FIBA Women’s World Cup in Spain with a hard-fought victory over Argentina.