Nigeria became the first team to reach the AfroBasket 2015 final after an 88—79 overtime win over Senegal on Saturday in Rades, Tunisia.
The win ends Senegal’s five-game winning streak in the tournament.
Nigeria’s sharpshooter Chamberlain Oguchi made 8 of his 13 three-pointers to lead all scorers with 28 points, while Gorgui Dieng, who spent the entire 45 minutes and was in foul limit, propelled Senegal with 20 points and a game-high 16 rebounds.
It was a balanced game with seven lead changes.
Nigeria’s nine-point lead in the second was short-lived as Ibrahima Thomas hit a three-pointer with three seconds to give Senegal a 37-35 half-time lead.
But when Nigeria entered the final minute of the regulation leading 76-73, Dieng thought they needed extra five minutes, making a three-pointer to tie the contest at 76-76.
Nigeria’s team rotation proved crucial as their bench came with a pivotal 21-point contribution.
With the result, Nigeria will reach the AfroBasket final for the first time since 2003.
Turning Point: Oguchi hit a three-pointer with 1:07 minute to give Nigeria a 82-76 to decide the contest.
Stats Don’t Lie: Oguchi’s three-pointers were detrimental for Senegal who attempted to reach the final of the tournament for the second time since 1997.
Game Hero: Nigeria’s Olaseni Lawal stepped on floor to do whatever it was needed to spark his country. By the end of the firs quarter Lawal led Nigeria with 11 points.
The Bottom Line: It was a balanced contest with Nigeria capitalising from Oguchi three-pointer’s accuracy, while Senegal struggled at both ends of the floor.