Nigeria’s female basketball national team, D’Tigress on Wednesday became the first African team to advance to the quarter-finals of the FIBA Women’s World Cup, after beating Greece 57-56, and will next face United States of America in the last-8 on Friday.
Evelyn Akhator led the way with her third double-double of the competition scoring 14 points and 13 rebounds, Ezinne Kalu had 14 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists, Promise Amukamara added 13 points 3 rebounds while Atonye Nyigifa contributed 10 points and 5 rebounds.
Akhator added 2 assists, 4 steals and 1 block in 30 minutes played, while Greece were led by Maria Fasoula in the final quarter limiting the D’Tigress to just 9 points as against 19 scored by Greece.
Fasoula had 18 points and 12 boards while Evanthia Maltsi added 13 points and 6 rebounds, which put D’Tigress under pressure and tied the game 4 times with 6 lead changes, but Nigeria took a 15 point lead with 2:45 minutes remaining in the third quarter.
Nigeria, who were down by 1 point in the final 20 seconds, had Elo Edeferioka and Kalu converting 3/4 free throws awarded to them.
Despite Kalu missing her second FT with 2 seconds left, Styliani Kaltsidou could only do little with the defensive rebound.
Following their win against Greece, they made history as the first African team to win three games and the first to reach the quarter final of the FIBA Women’s World Cup.