Argentina vs Nigeria, 2018 FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup PHOTO CREDIT: Nigeria Basketball Federation
Argentina vs Nigeria, 2018 FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup PHOTO CREDIT: Nigeria Basketball Federation

Nigeria women’s national basketball team, D’Tigress on Tuesday defeated Argentina 75-70 at the ongoing FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup in Tenerife Spain.

Otis Hughley’s women found it tough against the winless South Americans at the San Cristobal de La Laguna, Santiago Martin Arena in their last group game, but eventually came out victorious.

The African champions clinch second spot in Group B and will now face Greece in the Quarter-Final Qualifications. The winner of that contest gets to face heavyweight, USA in the Quarter-Finals.

It took almost two minutes for the first point to be made. Ezinne Kalu assisted Aisha Mohammed who made a 2 point shot before Ornella Santana leveled at 2-2.

Thereafter, Melisa Gretter came up with a layup to put Argentina 4-2 up.

Nigeria had a couple of missed chances from Atonye Nyingifa and Adaora Elonu. However, they put themselves in front following turnaround points from Evelyn Akhator and a layup from Nyingifa. That spin made it 8-4 to Nigeria.

Just when D’Tigress extended their lead through Promise Amukamara’s two free throws, Ornella Santana sunk in a 3 to cut the gap to 3 points. But Amukamara opened the lead to five points for the ladies in green after an assist from Evelyn Akhator. Soon afterward, Sarah Ogoke turned up to make it 15-7 to Nigeria.

That healthy lead was improved on by Amukamara’s layup to take Nigeria 17-7 on Argentina. Gretter responded with her own 3 points shot to put the score at 17-10.

Sarah Imovbioh converts one of two free throws, but then Argentina draws a foul off Ezinne Kalu on Macarena Rosett.

After the first quarter, D’Tigress led 19 to 13.

The Argentines fought their way back in the second quarter – even led by 26-25 points, but D’Tigress regain the lead and led by one point. However, Argentina with a 3, went back into the lead with 29-27.

The points were not being made as expected, but D’Tigress clawed back and led at the end of the 2nd quarter 32-29.

There were many close games. The score was 45-45 at some point, then 47-47, before Argentina went a point up on 48-47. Nigeria then retook the lead 49-48.

D’Tigress finished the 3rd quater in front, 48-51, leaving it all to play for in the 4th quarter.

Nigeria opened a four-point gap after Kalu converted all of her three free throws. After Victoria Llorente missed her two free throw, Nigeria had their noses in front once more 54-50.

Gretter really tormented Nigeria. She sunk in a 3 taking her tally to a game high 17 points. Only Aisha Mohammed hit double figures for Nigeria with 12 points. With Argentina calling for a timeout, Nigeria led 56-55.

Moments later, Ezinne Kalu finds the bucket with a 3, then Melissa Gretter responded with a 2 point shot. Kalu then missed all her two free throws, before Argentina cut the gap to just a point. Akhator made a 2 point shot and Elonu followed suit to make it 65-60 to Nigeria.

Promise Amukamara stretched it back to five points, and with just 2 minutes left on the clock, Argentina called for a timeout. At that point, score was 67-62 to Nigeria.

In the end, Nigeria made it two wins on the bounce, triumphing 75-70 to qualify for the last 8 qualifications of the competition.

Nigeria had lost their opening game to Australia before getting the better of the number 7 ranked team in the world, Turkey on Sunday.

Earlier at the same venue, Australia had beaten Turkey 90-64 to maintain their 100% start to the campaign, confirm their finish as group leaders and advance directly to Quarter-Finals.

Sixteen teams in four groups are competing in the tournament on the island of Tenerife, set to end on September 30.

The group leaders will directly qualify for the quarterfinals, while the second and third-placed teams will play an elimination match to advance to the quarterfinals.

 

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