Day 6 Women: NGR 68 - KOR 64
Nigerians proud of first win
ATHENS - (Olympics) - Nigeria's women won't claim a medal at the Athens Games but Sam Vincent's team will return to Africa with their heads held high.
The Nigerians won their first Olympic game on Tuesday, beating Korea 68-64 to secure 11th place in the tournament.
The African champions looked to be heading for a sixth defeat in Athens when Korea went on a 14-2 run to lead 30-16 in the second quarter but Nigeria battled back and moved in front for good at 60-58 with 4:38 left when Nguveren Iyorhe made a pair of free throws.
"Our goal was to take a win in these Olympic Games, and we have taken the first one," said Vincent, who has done wonders since taking the reins earlier this year.
"Our target next time is to take three wins. We have taken baby steps but with this win, we have put women's basketball on the map in Africa."
Nigeria are big, strong and athletic and are sure to be a force to be reckoned with in the coming years.
They had to fight just to reach the Olympics, coming from behind in the final of the African Championships to beat host nation Mozambique.
"The women have proved they can play very good basketball," Vincent said. "They have grown and got better and better."
Mfon Udoka, one of Nigeria's two players with WNBA experience, led the team with 21 points against Korea.
"We won and that is great," the Portland, Oregon, native said.
"I am very glad that we pulled it off. We had some people step up and get playing time, and that was good."
From Jeff Taylor, PA International, Athens
Mfon UDOKA (NGR), Forward
On the game:
"We won, and that is great. I am very glad that we pulled it off. We had some people step up and get playing time, and that was good."
On African Basketball:
"Our participation in these Olympics means a lot for the African World Championships. We are learning how to compete against the rest of world here."
Source: Athens News Service