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Nigeria Falls to Russia, Plays for Olympic Berth Sunday
Former Husker Ade Dagunduro had 16 points five assists and three steals on Saturday.
Photo Courtesy Scott Bruhn/NU Media Relations
Courtesy: NU Media Relations
07/07/2012
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Caracas, Venezuela - Despite a game-high 16 points from former Husker Ade Dagunduro, the Nigerian basketball team fell to Russia, 85-77, in the semifinals of the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament Saturday afternoon.

Dagunduro, who was the hero of Friday's win over Greece with seven of his points in the final 1:10, hit 6-of-11 shots from the floor on Saturday and added team highs in both assists (five) and steals (three) in 21 minutes of action.

Nigeria struggled in in the second quarter, as the team was out-scored 26-8, as Russia built a 46-31 halftime lead. Russia, which earned one of the three Olympic berths in the tournament, led by as many as 21 in the second half before Nigeria rallied in the fourth quarter.  Nigeria pulled to within 70-63 after a Dagunduro 3-point play with 5:51 left, and got to within six points in the final minutes, but could not pull closer.

Nigeria will have one more opportunity to earn a bid to the London Olympics on Sunday, as they take on the loser of tonight's game between Lithuania and the Dominican Republic. That game will be shown on NBA TV on a tape-delay basis Sunday at 7 p.m.

In the four games in the tournament, Dagunduro is averaging 10.5 points, 2.5 assists and 2.5 steals per game, leading Nigeria in both assists and steals.

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