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NIGERIA reminded everyone that they aren’t ready to go home without a fight and that mindset paid off as they rallied to beat Korea 70-69 in the closest game so far at the 2016 FIBA Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Nantes, France.
After trailing for most of the contest, Ezinne Kalu hit a three-pointer with 4.6 seconds left to play to rescue Nigeria from a potential elimination.
Kalu converted a three-point play with 2:51 remaining but that was just the beginning of a stretch that saw four lead-changes until the final buzzer sounded.
Korea paid the price for getting little production from their bench players who contributed only 11 points against Nigeria’s 37.
By scoring 11 points off the bench for Nigeria, Kalu not only turned out to be a game-changer but also her team’s new hero.
How does a team that makes a tournament-high 14 three-pointers lose a game? That is a mystery which Korea head coach We Sungwo will have to figure out. But credit must be given to the Nigerian coaching staff who called a timeout when trailing 69-67 with 12 seconds to go. In the ensuing possession, Kalu executed the game-winning play that edges Nigeria closer to the Quarter-Finals.