Chris Ibekpa made a vital rejection late in the 4th quarter, including 8 points 5 rebounds, as D’Tigers of Nigeria bounced back from first game loss to Cape Verde, to beat stubborn Mali 72-70.
Veteran Ike Diogu led the game with 19 points, while Jordan Ogundiran who was at the 2021 Afrobasket championship in Kigali, Rwanda followed up with 18 points.
Nigeria were close to bottling their chances completely, when Mali led 51-41 midway through the 3rd quarter, but a late fightback forced the deficit to 5 point at the end of the 3rd.
Julius Nwosu boys began the 4th with intent, as both teams interchanged leads. Jordan Ogundiran 4-point play put the D’Tigers ahead, with 37 seconds left.
Nigeria were 8/19 from the 3 point line, the most scored in a game so far in the tournament.
Ben Uzoh dropped 11 points for Nigeria and TK Edogi added 7 points.
Nigeria no doubts had a better performance from the free throw line shooting 75%, 18/24.