The United States of America’s senior women basketball team survived a late fightback to defeat Nigeria’s D’Tigress 72-81 in both sides opening basketball game at the ongoing Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
D’Tigress, despite a good start to the game and winning the first quarter 20-17 due to the brilliance of Ezinne Kanu, Promise Amukamara’s driving layup and Ify Ibekwe’s dexterity, had a melt-down in the 2nd quarter as the US gradually got into their rhythm taking up a 25-39 lead and extending it to 18 points at some point in the second quarter before Adaora Elonu at the buzzer sunk in a 3 from deep to cut down the deficit to 12 points.
Half Time: Nigeria 32- 44 USA.
It was all too easy for the US as they went 20 points up on D’Tigress in the 3rd quarter as the Nigerian ladies struggled to contain the much bigger and taller players of the US team led by Brittney Griner.
Nigeria 50 – 70 USA the 3rd quarter ended.
The Nigerian ladies mounted a comeback in the 4th quarter as Adaora Elonu knocked down a series of 3 points, then made two Free throws as the gap closed down to 8 points.
The US bench called for a time out which worked in their favour as the lead went back up to 12 points
before the Nigerians finally reduced it to 9 points in the end.
The game ended 72-81 in favour of Team USA.
The last time D’Tigress played against the US, they lost by 30 points in Las Vegas in an exhibition game.
Next up for Nigeria is France on 30 July 2021.