Nigeria lost it’s first game of the FIBA Women’s World Cup by 18 points against a supremely organized Australia in an exciting game that ended 86-68 at the San Cristobal de la Laguna on Saturday.
Australia’s Liz Cambage – who has a Nigerian father – scored a game high 34 points; shooting 14 from 22 field goal attempts in the 26 plus minutes she had on the floor.
Also, the Opal fielded a Nigerian born player, Ezi Magbegor, who posted 8 points in the win.
On the part of the D’Tigress, they continue to chase their first win in any world championship and perhaps can build on the performances of Evelyn Akhator, Ezinne Kalu, Aisha Mohammed and Adaora Elonu.
Akhator scored a team high 21 points and Ezinne also posted double digits in the points board.
Veteran Aisha Mohammed also brought her experience to bear in the game with a high efficiency percentage.
Speaking after the game, Akhator said,”We fought but then we just gave up a little in the last 5 minutes of the game. We shot ourselves in the foot. Cambage is a monster – she really is a beast. Overall, we just need to learn and come back really strong for the next game against Turkey.”
Mostly, Australia dominated the game posting better percentage on points, assists and blocks, but the Nigeria ladies showed some strength in their ability to fight for rebounds, forcing turnovers and making more steals.
Next up for Nigeria is Turkey, who they played and lost to in a pre-tournament friendly before flying to Spain. The game is scheduled for 8:30pm [Nigeria time] on Sunday