D’Tigress are almost through to Australia 2022 on Friday as they surprised the France team with a come-from-behind 67-65 victory.
Victoria Macaulay led the fightback with 19 points, four rebounds, four assists, five steals, and two blocks.
She sealed the victory with a three point-play with 59 seconds left on the clock. After a 90-76 loss to China on Thursday, Coach Otis Hughley now has one foot at the World Cup in Australia in September.
France went 6-0 up in the first minute of their encounter against D’Tigress on Friday. Marine Johannes made a three-pointer within 30 seconds. After two minutes with the French team up 11-0, Coach Hughley called a timeout.
The players were making mistakes in their layups and committing turnovers against the fifth-ranked France team. Adaora Elonu made the first basket for the Nigerian side after two minutes and 30 seconds as France seemed to run away with the match.
Elonu followed it up with another to cut the deficit to 11. Macaulay added to D’Tigress’ offence with two consecutive baskets but Alexia Chartereau’s three made it an 11-point game with four minutes left on the clock in the first quarter as Amy Okonkwo came on.
The first quarter ended 28-11 in favour of the French ladies. D’Tigress came roaring back in the second with a 16-10 win as they cut the deficit to 11. They produced another dominant display in the third as they further whittled down the lead to just four points at the start of the fourth quarter.
The Nigerians also took the fourth quarter 19-13 to take the victory by two points.
Earlier, China beat Mali 84-64 to book their ticket and D’Tigress will hope and seek another victory against their west African neighbours on Saturday to seal their ticket to Australia.