With this victory the Africa champion, will square up against group-A third place finisher, Mozambique in the quarter-finals Friday in Dakar.
Nigeria took an early lead in the first quarter with a 32-15 points thus creating a 17 points deficit, the second quarter also went the way of the Africa representative at the basketball event of the 2004 Olympics with 11-08 points, efforts by the Kenyan to rally back in the third and fourth which it won (13-11 and 24-19) was too late to save them from defeat and an early exit from contention for the continent’s sole Beijing 2008 Olympic Games ticket.
Nigeria’s Olayinka Sanni led her team-mates with 13 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists, centre, Ugochukwu Oha added 12 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 block-shots just as the duo of Sefi Mojidi and Chisaokwu Ononiwu contributed 10 points each.
Kenya Caroline Achieng led the floor with 18 points and 4 assists, Brenda Odula added 13 points and 3 assists Joyce Makungu had her name on the score sheet with 12 points while Miriam Awaccor had 10 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists.
Cote d’Ivoire second time lucky beat Madagascar 51-43
The young ladies from Cote d’Ivoire seat of the secretariat of the continent ruling body, FIBA Afrique displayed gut and resisted Madagascar who came into Wednesday last group-A game as if their lives depended on it with a 51-43 points win to move into the last eight.
The Ivories whose first win in the championship was against Tunisia Tuesday got back into the all important battle in the third and fourth quarters having trailed the bottom placed coach Hubert Manary tutored Malagasy ladies at half-time (23-16).
The Ivories won three of the four quarters with scores at 06-05, 10-18, 22-11 and 13-09 to finish fourth in group-A.
Kani kouyate led the floor with 17 points and 7 rebounds, while her compatriot Aichata Diomande contributed 11 points and 3 rebounds. Madagascar’s playmaker, Ange Rasoambolanoro was the player in her team that record a double figure of 16 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists.
Mozambique ends Tunisia dream
Rampaging ladies from Maputo, Mozambique got the better of Tunisia in both sides last group-A game played inside the Marius Ndiaye gymnasium, Dakar with a 69-56 points’ victory that guaranteed them passage into the last eight of the continent’s flagship women championship.
The Mozambican whose rear was perfectly anchored by former Academica256&on= basketball club of Maputo points guard, 27 year-old Ngulela Deolinda won the first quarter by 22-17 points, slipped in the second by just one point of 11-12 points the Tunisian came back strongly in the third quarter tying score at 37 points apiece with 3 minutes 50 seconds left but failed to remain focus thereby allowing the quick Mozambican to escape with a 16-12 points win thus going into the last quarter with a 49-41 points advantage.
Deolinda who was the inspiration her team-mates relied on for victory had 5 assists, 5 rebounds and 9 points to her credit as the Mozambican win the quarter 20-15 for a final score-line of 69-56 points.
Carla Da Silva scored 15 points and 3 rebounds while Clarisse Machang358&on=324uana added 11 points, 7 rebounds and 2 assists, Tunisian duo, Mariem Ouertani and Henda Chebli had 11 points each with Chebli grabbing 9 rebounds.
Cameroon compound Cape Verde woes
Cameroonian Lioness booked a place in the quarter-final of the Africa Nations Championship for Women in her last group-B match decided in Thies, Senegal Wednesday with 65-40 points win over Cape Verde.
Cameroon who were the clear favourite in the match won in all four quarters of 14-10, 15-12, 23-10 and 13-08 for a final score-line of 65-40 points.
With the win the Cameroonians who almost pulled out of the championship due to financial constraint will move over to Dakar for the quarter finals which began on Friday, while Cape Verde will stay back in Thies for the classification matches.
Nigeria Udoka injured missed Kenya game
Nigeria captain and reigning most valuable player of the Africa Nations Championship for Women, Mfon Udoka is down with a kneel injury which saw missing on the Nigeria line-up in Wednesday last group game against Kenya.
The former Tarbes Gespe Bigorre basketball club of France forward hurt her kneel why leading the Nigeria onslaught against Mwabi Mabika and her team in Nigeria third group-B game last Sunday in Thies.
Udoka who first dorn the Nigeria colour in 2003 8th All Africa Games in Abuja, Nigeria has been a major player with the Nigerian side ever since little wonder the coaches led by Kevin Cook decides to rest her against Kenya so to allow the injury to heal before the crucial quarter-final battle a against Mozambique on Friday.
Udoka a one time WNBA player with the Houston Comets is a hardworking and experienced player whose leadership is not doubt, should be back in action for the Africa champion on Friday.
Senegal stops Mali run
Host Senegal Wednesday stopped the smooth run of Mali in the last group-A of the 20th Africa nations Championship played in Dakar.
With maximum home support the Senegalese side narrowly won the first quarter 11-10 but added an extension in the second quarter for an halftime scores of 25-16, the Malian rallied back in the third quarter with a 14-12 points win but fell further in the last quarter which the home side picked by 11-09 points for a final scores of 48-37.
Fatou Ndiaye Balayara of Senegal and Malian Kadiatou Toure were the only player with double figure on the scorer sheet with 10 and 17 points respectively.
DR Congo beat Angola 52-42 to finish third
Die-hard Congo Democratic Republic found their rhythm beating Angola 52-42 points but still finish in the fourth position and a quarter-final duel against Senegal on Friday.
Spurred on by WNBA star, Mwabi Mabika, who did not feature in the match due to injury she sustain during the championship the Congolese side did not pretend to mean business winning the first quarter 16-07, but lost the second quarter by a narrow margin of 09-08 for a halftime scores of 24-16 points.
They went on to win the third quarter 17-15 points and tied the last quarter at 11 points apiece for a final score-line of 52-42 points.
Armelie Kalonda had a wonderful game pouring in 19 points, 7 assists and 5 rebounds her team-mate Nelly Bopoli contributed 12 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists and one block-shot while duo of Angolan Ngieendula Filipe and Irene Guerreiro scored 11 and 10 points respectively.
By: Olusegun Ikuesan
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photo Cheltenham Racecourse