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AfroBasket: Fantastic Akhator powers Nigeria past Senegal

*Secures q-final slot against Cote d’ivoire

Fantastic Evelyn Osaretin Akhator again powered Nigeria’s offence as D’Tigress defeated Senegal 58-54 in the last Group B match of the 2017 Afrobasket for Women.

The WNBA player again made it double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds as Nigeria overcame the defending champions in a highly contested match.

Nigeria won the first quarter 14-13 and then took the next at 20-13 before the break. The Senegalese returned to the court battling hard in the late Wednesday night match and took the third quarter 15-14. They also won the last at 13-10 but the fight back was too late to change the score line.

Traore held forth for Senegal shooting 13 points, 8 rebounds and 2 assists. Ezinne Kalu shot 11 points for Nigeria, Adaora Elonu made 10 points while Jennifer Nyingifa added 5 assists.

The win gave Nigeria five straight wins to top the group into the next stage of the competition. D’Tigress will face Cote d’ivoire on Friday.

In some other games played also on Wednesday hosts Mali defeated Cameroon 69-35 while Tunisia defeated Nigeria’s next opponents Cote d’ivoire 69-64. In another Group B match Egypt defeated Mozambique 91-70.

With the Ivorien log of matches played, it may mathematically mean that the Nigerian lasses who are so hot in the media of managing their games are primed to stroll easily to the semi-final. This does not translate on the field but buoyed with no loss and the Ivorien have bitten the dust in their last qualification match can also be made to take another bite.

Akhator who plays in the Women National Basketball Association (WNBA) with Dallas Wings stated that despite an impressive outing so far in the competition, the team have not fully reached their full potential. With an automatic ticket to the 2018 FIBA World Cup at stake, Akhator said the team are not getting ahead of themselves with the matches left for the team to pick that World Cup slot.

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