The 2013 FIBA Africa Championship tournament had a rather light Thursday after all 16 teams were in action throughout the day on Wednesday. Thursday’s games featured a pair of matchups in the loser’s bracket as the games whittle down to this weekend’s championship feature.
Cape Verde 79, Nigeria 76 — Nigeria was expected to win the entire tournament, but a surprising upset on Wednesday sent them to the wrong side of the bracket. They didn’t exactly bounce back, either, as the squad touting four players with NBA experience was upset for the second consecutive day.
Cape Verde was led by point guard Brian Rudolph’s 15 points and eight assists, solid numbers for a player who just finished up his college career at Loyala Maryland. Mario Correia, Marcos Gomes and Aldevino Lima all scored in double-figures, as well.
Nigeria was led by 22 points and 10 rebounds from Ike Diogu as he kept his hold as the tournament’s leading scorer. New Orleans Pelicans wing Al-Farouq Aminu added a quiet 13 points, and Ben Uzoh filled up the box score again with 10 points to go with seven each in the assists and rebounds category. Gani Lawal, Nigeria’s fourth player with NBA experience, finished with three points, three rebounds and four turnovers in 12 minutes of action.
Cameroon 79, Morocco 76 — Cameroon was one of the more disappointing teams in the FIBA Africa tournament, but they rebounded with a decent win in the loser’s bracket on Thursday. Their only NBA player (Luc Richard Mbah a Moute) didn’t play, but it didn’t matter as they eked out the three-point victory.
Gaston Essengue scored 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead his team in both categories. Jeremy Nzeulie added 14 points, point guard Aldo Agostino Curti contributed 11 and former UCLA Bruins forward Alfred Aboya added 10 points to round out Cameroon’s double-digit scorers.
Morocco was led by 27 points from Abdelhakim Zouita to increase his scoring average to a solid 19.8 points per game in the tournament — second behind only Diogu’s 20.3-point average. Youness Idrissi and Aberrahim Najah combined for 28 points, too, but Morocco’s 27 turnovers ultimately did them in.
Next up: Cameroon will play Cape Verde to crown the fifth-place team, while Nigeria and Morocco fight it out for seventh.
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