The Nigeria national women basketball team, D’Tigress, qualified for the final of the 2019 FIBA Women’s AfroBasket ongoing in Senegal after beating Mali 79-58 on Friday.
The quarters ended Q1 (25 ) – (12), Q2 (42) – (28), Q3 (59) – (40), Q4 (79) – (58).
D’Tigress kept awesome composure to claim the win with amazing performances of Ezinne Kalu (19 points), Adaora Elonu (13 points).
Evelyn Akhator finished with a double-double making 12 points and 13 rebounds.
It is the second consecutive final for the Nigerian ladies and a chance to defend the Afrobasket title they won last time out.
Prior to Friday’s match, DTigress had only won twice in seven matches against Mali.
Two years ago, D’Tigress needed just a point to beat Mali but on Friday they did it with 21 points.
“The point difference wasn’t a reflection of the matchup, I give total credit to the Malians coaching crew and players for the intense game,” head coach Otis Hughley admitted at the press conference, where he said getting to the final was not an easy work for his team who had barely one week preparation.
Before dispatching Mali on Friday, Coach Hughley’s ladies had defeated Tunisia and Cameroon in the group stage before they overcame Congo DR in the quarter-final.
Nigeria will face either host Senegal or Mozambique in the final.
Meanwhile, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, and Senegal have automatically qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics pre-qualifying tournament that is scheduled for November.