Nigeria beat defending champions Senegal 65-46 points in the finals of the 2017 Afrobasket on Sunday.
Evelyn Akhator scored 13 points , 7 rebounds , Adaora Elonu made 12 points and 4 assists while Atonye Nyingifa added 11 points and 4 rebounds.
Nigeria struggled from the first quarter and couldn’t score for about 4 minutes. Senegal’s Astou Traore who ended up as the most valuable player of the tournament hit 3 straight threes in the last 3 minutes of the first quarter. But Atosu Upe’s three with 23 seconds left made sure Nigeria reduced the deficit to 6 (12-18).
D’Tigress got their groove back in the second quarter and with 2:38 minutes remaining, they had their first lead of the game (29-27).
Sadly for Nigeria, they lost Ndidi Madu to injury 56 seconds to the break. Madu contributed defensively for the champions , scoring 5 rebounds before she limped off the court.
Traore made 17 points and 6 rebounds for Senegal.
D’Tigress returned in the third quarter blazing , with an 11-0 run (44-28) forcing Senegal to struggle on the offense. For 6 minutes on the clock in the third quarter, they failed to get a field goal.
Nigeria never relented on their effort and kept it calm in the final quarter to beat Senegal who they defeated in their last group B game of the tournament.
D’Tigress remained unbeaten (8-0) on the way to their third Afrobasket title.
Nigeria and Senegal will represent Africa at the 2018 FIBA Women’s World Cup in Spain.
Host Mali finished in third place beating Mozambique 75-52 points.