Nigeria’s D’Tigress became the first team to advance to the AfroBasket Women 2015 semi-finals on Thursday after defeating Mozambique 71-66 in the first in Yaounde, Cameroon.
Joyce Ekworomadu led D’Tigress with a game-best 20 points, while Odelia Mafanela and Deolinda Ngulela combined for 34 Mozambique points.
Mozambique tried to overcome Nigeria with constant three-point shooting, but they overdid it by attempting 5 of 29 from beyond the arc.
The Mozambique ladies arrived in Yaounde with a depleted squad and it told as their bench contributed only five points against Nigeria’s 28.
D’Tigress game heroine Helen Ogunjimi not only played aggressive defense, but the 30-year-old guard provided two crucial three-pointers, keeping Nigeria very much alive in the contest.
Fiba.com reports that two years ago, Mozambique upset Nigeria in the quarter-finals, and on Thursday, Nigeria’s Independence Day, the Southern Afrocans were very close to repeating their fortunes, but D’Tigress stepped on the floor in desperation mode, reaching the tournament’s semi-finals for the second time since 2011.
Ndidi Madu, made a game-high 13 rebounds later told FIBA.com: “It was a tough game for us. Mozambique is a great team. We didn’t do a good of job rebounding. We definitely need to able to rebound in order to win ball games. It does not matter who we face tomorrow, we just need to be ready for the fight.”