Nigeria’s D’Tigress bounced back from their opening day defeat to China in style by securing a 67-65 win over European giants France to book their place in the 2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup in Sydney, Australia.
D’Tigress lost to China because they started the game slowly, and they were able to grow into the game as it went on, eventually winning the fourth quarter 24-11 on the occasion. Head coach Otis Hughley Jr was of the opinion that his ladies would improve in the second game because they were boosted by their fourth quarter performance against the Chinese.
The French started the game strongly and ran away with a 28-11 lead in the first quarter. The Nigerian side recovered brilliantly and claimed a 16-10 lead in the second quarter to finish the first half with a 38-27 deficit.
D’Tigress continued to push forward and claimed a 21-14 third quarter lead with another brilliant performance that included a buzzer beater from half court by Promise Amukamara to cut the lead to just four points. The ladies from Nigeria won the fourth quarter 19-13 to complete the turnaround and defeat their French opponents 67-65.
Victoria Macaulay led the scoring with 19 points, four rebounds and four assists for D’Tigress, Odera Chidom contributed 13 point, Adaora Elonu and Promise Amukamara recorded 10 points apiece. Nigeria successfully avenged their defeat to the French at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Nigeria’s women, the reigning Afrobasket champions, have now qualified for this year’s FIBA Women’s World Cup in Australia with one group game to spare against Mali. They have joined China in qualifying for the tournament after the Chinese defeated Mali in their second group game.