Nigeria’s senior women basketball team, D’Tigress, on Friday, lost 62-87 to their French counterparts in their second Preliminary Round Group B fixture at the ongoing Tokyo Olympics.
The result makes it the second straight loss after a narrow 72-81 loss to the U.S.
The make-or-mar match played at the Saitama Super Arena in Tokyo was keenly contested as France had also lost their first match to the less-experienced Japanese 70-74.
The D’Tigress, brimming with confidence after the U.S. match, could, however, not build on the momentum against the French ladies.
Nigeria lost the first three quarters; 12-18, 15-26, 15-23 and drew the fourth 20-20, falling to the superior shooting power of the fifth best female basketball team in the world.
After a barren first three minutes of the opening quarter, France went up by eight points and dominated to win by 18-12, in spite of Nigeria rallying back to draw 11-11 at some point.
The D’Tigress, just like in the first match, were wasteful with their shots, a disadvantage which France capitalised on.
Nigeria’s Promise Amukamara led the pack scoring 11 points, while Ezinne Kalu, with 10 points, was the only other D’Tigress to enter double digits.
France had Sandrine Gruda with 14 points, while Gabby Williams, Endene Miyem, Marine Johannes and Alix Duchet each added 13 points as five players scored in double figures for them.
Nigeria were attempting to become the first African nation to win an Olympic contest in women’s basketball since 2004 when the team went 1-5 in Greece.
No team from the continent has won a game since.
Their last chance will come on Monday against hosts Japan, while France close out pool play against the U.S. on Monday.
The group’s other game on Friday saw the U.S. beat Japan 86-69 to book their place in the knockout stage of the women’s basketball event.