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D’Tigress Lose 81-72 Against Team USA

D'Tigress vs Team USA

July 27, (THEWILL) – Nigeria’s female basketball team, D’Tigress, lost their opening Group B match to the USA women’s basketball team even though they began as the stronger of the two teams. After the first quarter, Team USA stepped on the extra burners to finish 81-72 winners.

D’Tigress squad got off to a positive start with full-court press and tenacity on the defensive end. It caught the Americans off guard early in the game. At the end of the first quarter, Nigeria led 20-17 and had forced eight American turnovers in the process making it unlikely that the USA could move their Olympics winning streak to an incredible 50 games.

But, D’Tigress were unable to build on that initial momentum because Team USA adapted to the pressure quickly and easily in the second quarter, started working the ball inside and took full control, eventually. Their recovery was masterful as at one point in the second quarter, they ripped off a 23-0 run and before the break had built a double-digit lead.

Although D’Tigress team was able to capitalise on some American sloppiness towards the end of the fourth quarter, Team USA regained the control they had built up for the entire second half, and did not allow themselves be in danger of losing the game to the Nigerians.

D’Tigress were no pushovers against their more illustrious opponents and put relentless pressure up and down the court that left the Americans flustered. If they had kept up the early display where they forced eight American turnovers in the first quarter alone, the results could have been different.

Team Nigeria’s Otis Hughley Jr. will have to get the ladies to work out the careless they continued to have with the ball for most of the game. The whopping 25 turnovers of Team USA, which helped Nigeria get 16 more shot attempts than the US should have resulted in more points without that careless ball handling.

To the advantage of the USA was that they won the rebounding battle by a wide margin, 61-41, and scored 36 points in the paint. D’Tigress simply had no answer for that even as Team USA struggled to deal with Nigeria’s defensive pressure and they also got sloppy with the ball often.

At the end, it was a brave performance from the African champions who had lost to the Americans 93-62 in an exhibition game in Las Vegas pre-Olympics.