Nigeria’s D’Tigress rounded up their qualification process for the FIBA Women’s World Cup with a 73-69 victory over neighbours Mali, confirming their qualification for the FIBA Women’s World Cup in the process.
Despite having won brilliantly against France, D’Tigress had to keep the champagne in ice as it was revealed that a win for Mali with a margin of more than six points would be enough to eliminate D’Tigress from the qualifiers.
Mali started the game like they really wanted the qualification and earned a 22-20 first quarter lead over their Nigerian counterparts. D’Tigress immediately showed their mettle and recovered to claim a deserved 22-13 win in the second quarter, heading into halftime with a 42-35 lead.
The ladies from Nigeria continued to dominate their West African opponents, picking up a 22-9 lead from the third quarter to head into the final quarter in possession of a 20-point lead. Mali fought back valiantly in the fourth quarter and almost completed a sensational comeback, as they won the quarter 25-9. The match ended 73-69 in favour of D’Tigress.
The Nigerians picked up a second consecutive win over Mali, having also defeated them en route to winning the Afrobasket championship.
Amy Okonkwo led the scoring with 14 points, Atonye Nyingifa and Nicole Enabosi contributed 11 points apiece. Promise Amukamara also contributed 10 points for D’Tigress in the game.
Nigeria’s ladies will now join China and France from Group B at the FIBA Women’s World Cup later this year in Australia.