Nigeria’s D’Tigress defeated Mozambique 59-52 in a hard-fought quarterfinal match to advance to the semifinals of the FIBA Women’s Afrobasket tournament in 2023.
D’Tigress had a rough outing, as Mozambique won the first quarter 18-16, building a two-point advantage.
It was the same pattern in the second quarter, as D’Tigress’ shots were not falling, resulting in a 15-13 edge for Mozambique, who carried a four-point lead into halftime.
Head coach, Rena Wakama made defensive modifications, and the D’Tigres replied by winning the third quarter 18-10 to take a four-point lead into the fourth quarter. Mozambique were able to fight back by hitting some shots from three-point range to make the game close.
D’Tigress were able to execute from midrange late in the game and take the fourth quarter 12-9 to win the game. The victory means D’Tigress now advances to the semifinals of the 2023 Women’s Afrobasket Championship. In the semifinals, D’Tigress will face hosts Rwanda who defeated Uganda earlier in the day.
In a game where they struggled from deep the top performer for D’Tigress was once again Amy Okonkwo. She recorded 17 points, six rebounds, one assist, one block, and one steal in 37 minutes of action.
Okonkwo gave Nigeria her first points after 70 seconds and took the lead through Elizabeth Balogun with a three-pointer who had a decent outing with 12 points, six rebounds, one assist, and two blocks in 35 minutes of action. Ogoke pushed the lead to 7-2 after three minutes of the encounter.
Murjanatu Musa, off the bench, made it 9-2, and at that stage, D’Tigress looked to be heading for another easy win.
But Ingvild da Ofilia Agostinho Mucauro sparked the fightback even though Nigeria led 14-9 with about three minutes left in the first quarter. Ifunaya Okoro committed a foul and allowed Chiziane two free throws, which she made, and from there, the Nigerian team withered.
Balogun made a layup, giving Nigeria a 16-15 lead, and then committed a turnover, from which Mucauro made a three-pointer to take an 18-16 lead into the break.
The two teams evenly fought the second quarter, with Okonkwo scoring five points to keep the deficit at 29-33 at the end of the second quarter.
Balogun made two free throws with four minutes left on the clock in the third quarter to draw the Nigerians’ level at 40-40. By the end of the quarter, D’Tigress had reversed the four-point deficit into a four-point lead, 47-43.
It will be recalled former Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari had ordered the withdrawal of Nigeria from all international competitions and activities for two years which was later rescinded and the African giants hace remained unstoppable since their return
The Nigerian women’s senior basketball team are the current champions of the AfroBasket. They have won the last three editions of the continental tournament.