Meeting for the second time in just under a month, D’Tigress defeated Mozambique 71-66 in the quarterfinal round of the 2015 Afrobasket Competition in Yaoundé. Cameroon. Nigeria recently defeated their Mozambican counterparts in the All African games 3 weeks ago.
The win puts the Nigerian squad two games away from the championship and also avenged a heartbreaking loss suffered at the same stage in the 2013 Afrobasket tournament when Mozambique defeated Nigeria 77-74 in Maputo.
D’Tigress appeared to be heading for a fourth straight victory over the highly ranked Mozambicans when a made basket by Adaora Elonu got them an 18-8 lead with 1:52 left in the first quarter. Mozambique responded with a made three on their next possession as both teams traded baskets to finish the quarter 20-13 in favor of Nigeria. An early 10-0 run by Mozambique in the second quarter brought the game level at 23-23, Nigeria was held scoreless for almost 4 minutes during this period. Both teams continued to trade baskets however sharpshooting Helen Ogunjimi connected on a three to give Nigeria some breathing space, Mozambique stayed close at half time, trailing 36-41.
D’Tigress would go through another prolonged dry spell in the second half, getting outscored 18-12 in the third quarter and going through spells without scoring as Mozambique lead 54-53 going into the final quarter. Nigeria only shot 4-11 in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, Mozambique continued to hold Nigeria at bay as they lead 58-57 with less than 4 minutes left in the game. Nigeria fought back through a 12-2 run half of which was scored by the ever efficient Adaora Elonu to lead 68-60 with just over 2 minutes left in the game, the final charge from Nigeria was too much for Mozambique to overcome as Nigeria stamped their authority on defense and closed out the game with a final score of 71-66.
Joyce Ekworomadu had a game high 20 points, and Adaora Elonu 13 points, six coming in the final quarter.
D’Tigress will now face host nation and the only undefeated side in the tournament Cameroon in the semifinal round on Friday at 7:00 p.m. at the City Arena.