Amy Okonkwo scored a splendid team-high 16 points 7 rebounds to lead 2 other players with double figures, as Nigeria women’s basketball team for the third successive time beat Senegal 73-63, this time in an AfroBasket Championship semi-final to book a place in final against Mali on Sunday.
Nigeria withstood a late fightback in the game, to go a win away from securing their 3rd successive Afrobasket title. Ify Ibekwe scored 14 points, while captain fantastic Adaora Elonu added 12 points.
The defending champions opened the game with a 22-11 lead in the first quarter, when Amy Okonkwo scored a 3-point shot with 00:14 left. Senegal stepped up a little in the second quarter, scoring 20 points, but fall behind to Nigeria’s 23 points, trailing 55-31 lead at half-time.
In the fourth quarter Senegal tried to pull a dramatic come-back, but the wide margin could only be reduced to 10 points.
5ft9 Promise Amukamara accompanied her 8 points with 4 steals.
A night when Nigeria top scorer Ezinne Kalu was trapped by Senegal, the bench led by Amy Okonkwo, scored 32 points.
Yacine Diop who was part Senegal’s under 18 youth programme bagged 14 points, the top performer for Senegal in the game was Mame-Marie Sy-Diop with a team-high 18 points for Senegal who will have to settle for a 3rd place matchup with host nation Cameroon.
Nigeria will face Mali who brushed aside host nation Cameroon on Sunday for the finals at 7pm Nigerian time.