The senior national women’s basketball team, D’Tigress are through to the final of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) AfroBasket after beating Mali 79-58 yesterday, in Dakar, Senegal.
The defending champions attack was led by Evelyn Akhator who again was the key figure for the Nigeria, scoring 12 points and picking up 13 rebounds in a stellar display.
Ezinne Kalu top-scored for Nigeria with 19 points as they earned 21-point victory, their smallest winning margin of four wins from four in the tournament so far.
D’Tigress started like an express train and were 25-12 ahead by the end of the first quarter.
Mali upped their game but the holders only extended their lead until the end.
It means Mali must keep waiting for their first AfroBasket title since 2007, despite Meiya Tirera scoring 14 points.
D’Tigress could be set for a repeat of the 2017 final this weekend, with hosts and 12-times champions Senegal in action in the other semi-final.
Senegal – beaten 65-48 by the Nigerians in Bamako two years ago – take on Mozambique in the late game.
Nigeria had earlier thrashed DR Congo 79-46 in the quarter finals and demolished Cameroon 106-39.
Earlier, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola earned victories in the fifth to eight place classification matches.
DR Congo defeated Ivory Coast 54-47, before Angola edged out Egypt 68-66.
The championship, which began on last Saturday, expected to end on tomorrow.
It is the first step for qualification from FIBA Africa for the women’s basketball tournament at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.