Home Sports D’Tigress Qualify For Women Basketball World Cup After 73-69 Win Over Mali

D’Tigress Qualify For Women Basketball World Cup After 73-69 Win Over Mali

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D'Tigress Qualify For Women Basketball World Cup After 73-69 Win Over Mali

D’Tigress Qualify For Women Basketball World Cup After 73-69 Win Over Mali.

D’Tigress, Nigeria’s national women’s basketball team, advanced to the 2022 World Cup following a tight win against Mali in Belgrade on Sunday. Despite having a 20-point advantage at the start of the fourth quarter, the Malians made a fight of it, closing to within two points of their Nigerian opponents in the final seconds of a 73-69 victory.

Coach Otis Hughley started Promise Amukamara, Adaora Elonu, Atonye Nyingifa, Oderah Chidom, and Victoria Macaulay against Mali, whom D’Tigress defeated in the 2021 AfroBasket final.

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The first quarter was a fight of attrition, with the lead changing hands several times, but the Malians closed the quarter with a two-point advantage, 22-20. After being fouled by Kamite Elisabeth Dabou, Amy Okonkwo hit two free throws to tie the game at 22-22. With a jump shot, Nassira Traore gave the Malians the lead for the second time.

With two free throws, Atonye Nyingifa tied the game at 24-24, and D’Tigress took the lead for the first time since grabbing the lead early in the game through Elonu. With four minutes remaining in the second quarter, Nassira Traore handed the advantage to the Malians.

D’Tigress got stronger in the third quarter, increasing their advantage to 20 points. With fewer than two minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Malians rallied back and cut the margin to six points, prompting Coach Hughley to call a timeout.

With so many turnovers, D’Tigress got restless, making for a tight conclusion. With 22 seconds left on the clock, Nyingifa grabbed a defensive rebound, but a faulty pass from Chidom led to a basket by Aminata Traore, cutting the margin to two points. After Traore missed her free shot, Chidom grabbed the rebound and drew a foul from Adama Coulibaly.

With 14 seconds remaining on the clock, Nigeria called a timeout. Nyingifa was fouled and scored both of her free throws to give Nigeria a four-point advantage, and that was the final score, bringing D’Tigress to their second World Cup berth.

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