Valiant D’Tigress fall to USA in FIBA Women’s World Cup quarterfinal
After winning the first quarter, D’ Tigress succumbed to a resurgent USA in the quarter-final of the FIBA Women’s W0rld Cup in Tenerife, Spain. The United States of America’s women basketball team shook off an inauspicious start to qualify for the semi-final with a 71-40 win over D’Tigress.
Ezinne Kalu led D’Tigress with eight points, four rebounds and two assists. Amina Mohammed returned to the team after she missed the quarterfinal qualifying game against Greece due to injury. The centre couldn’t impact the game as she had in the previous games, scoring just two points in the game.
Eveyln Akhator set the ball rolling when she won a defensive rebound, then sunk a jump shot to open the scoring. The first quarter ended 9-17 with D’Tigress firmly in control of proceedings but Otis Hughley’s side could not build on the positive start as USA limited Nigeria to just six points in the second quarter to the Americans 18.
D’Tigress held onto the lead till Breanna Stewart sunk a trey with 2:04 on the clock. Aj’a Wilson extended the lead by one point from the free throw line. Wilson scored another two points from a layup to close out the scoring for the quarter and ensure the Americans never looked back.
In the third quarter, D’Tigress tried to prove stiffer opponents against USA but still fell short with an 11 point difference at the end of the quarter. The fourth quarter seemed a cakewalk for the highest ranked women’s basketball team, as they cantered to a 25-5 win in the quarter.
Despite the loss, D’Tigress made history in the tournament in Spain, becoming the first African team to win three games at the Women’s World Cup.
So proud of this team! Defied the odds, exceeded expectations, and have made Nigeria proud. Congratulatiosn on a terrific and historic run @DtigressNG! Finished top 8 in the World Cup! pic.twitter.com/UjhneN4Adx
— Nigeria Basketball (@NigeriaBasket) September 28, 2018
D’Tigress defeated Turkey, Argentina and Greece to become the first African team to qualify for the quarterfinals.
USA will face the winner in the quarterfinal between Belgium and France on Saturday.