February 08, (THEWILL) – In an intense clash between two top African women’s basketball teams, Nigeria emerged victorious with a dramatic 72-65 comeback win against Senegal on Thursday, in Antwerp, Belgium.
With both sides needing to beat Belgium and the USA to likely secure an Olympic berth, this match was always destined to be pivotal. So it proved, as Nigeria extended their recent dominance over their regional rivals in a game full of twists and turns. Despite trailing by 8 points heading into the final quarter, Nigeria produced a rousing fightback inspired by star player Amy Okonkwo.
Okonkwo, reigning MVP at last year’s FIBA Women’s AfroBasket, led from the front with 21 points and 10 rebounds. She sparked an 11-0 scoring run from Nigeria in the first 6 minutes of the fourth period to swing momentum firmly in her side’s favour.
In the end, Nigeria’s 16 offensive rebounds proved telling, leading to 30 valuable bench points. Senegal will rue missed chances after controlling much of the first half, before fading in the closing stages.
Player of the match Yacine Diop top-scored for them with 23. This victory leaves Nigeria well-placed to qualify for Paris 2024.
About the Author
Jude Obafemi is a versatile senior Correspondent at THEWILL Newspapers, excelling in sourcing, researching, and delivering sports news stories for both print and digital publications.