Nigeria’s D’Tigress crashed out of the FIBA Women’s World Cup holding in Spain, after the USA team beat them 71-40.
The FIBA Liveblog, reports that D’Tigress started the game on a winning note as they held USA to nine points in the first quarter, the first time ever that happened to USA in World Cup/Olympics history.
Unfortunately, D’Tigress couldn’t sustain the tempo against the defending champions.
Speaking at the end of the game, the D’Tigress’ Coach, Otis Hughley Jr said, “I love these girls. I have two biological daughters and I feel like I have 12 more daughters. I thought they fought really well in the first half. I think the difference in the game is who shot well. I thought we played exponentially above what we have. Our girls dug down until there was nothing left. I’ve never felt so happy after a 31-point loss.”
One of the Nigerian players, Evelyn Akhator said, “I really love the team so much. It’s my first year of playing for the national team and this is the best group ever. Our commitment and dedication is something special. I can’t wait to play with this group again. It’s huge to come here from Nigeria and finish in the top eight of the competition.”
For her part, USA play-caller, Dawn Staley said, “It was a hard fought game. Nigeria came out and pressured us and it bothered us probably in the first 20 minutes of the game, and then we made an adjustment in the style of play. We started making plays. Hats go off to Nigeria, but at the same time I am proud of the team for making the adjustments needed and turning it around in the first.”
Nigeria beat Argentina, Greece and Turkey to get into the quarter-finals, a feat never achieved by an African nation in Basketball.