D’Tigress started their 2017 Afro Basket Women campaign with a 80-69 win over Mozambique on Friday night in Mali.
The two-time champions who are hunting for their third title struggled throughout the game as the South African ladies led by Dongou showed they were no pushovers.
Nigeria ran up to a 10-0 lead with WNBA third overall draft pick Evelyn Akhator making the D’Tigress first points of the tournament before the Mozambicans roared back into the game to end the first quarter 19-21.
D’Tigress increased their lead in the 2nd quarters to go into the half time with 41-32 points lead.
But the D’Tigress poor shooting and missing of easy layups almost cost them the game in the second half as they ended the third and fourth quarters 18-16 and 21-21.
Despite their terrible shooting inside the paints, four Nigerians finished with a double figure points.
Sarah Ogoke had 1/4 of her two points attempts and 3/8 behind the arc. Adaora Elonu lead the team in points and assist as she dropped 17 points of her 8/15 two points attempted, 0/1 behind the arc and 1/2 free throws and 7 dimes.
Evelyn Akhator dropped 13 points shooting 50% from her field goals, Ezinne Kalu also had 16 points.
Captain Aisha Mohammed led the team in rebounds as she contributed 3 offensive and 4 defensive rebounds to help her team to a victorious start.
Up next for Nigeria is a clash against DR Congo by 4:15pm today.