TOKYO, JAPAN – Continuing basketball action at the Olympics, former Wildcat Nico Mannion scores 14 points, helping propel Italy past Nigeria.
As basketball action continues to heat up at the Summer Olympics, former Wildcat Nico Mannion continued his strong play as he scored 14 points, grabbed four rebounds, and dished one assist in Italy’s 80-71 win over Nigeria on Saturday.
Fresh off a 21-point performance in a loss to Australia just days prior, Nico and Italy returned to action on Saturday to close out Group B play in the preliminary round of the Summer Olympics.
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Taking on Nigeria with an opportunity to advance to the Quarterfinals on the line, the stakes were certainly high for Nico and Italy.
Luckily for them, they were up to the challenge from the start as they outscored Nigeria 29-17 in the first quarter, taking a commanding lead early on.
However, big second and third quarters by Nigeria put them right back in the thick of it, taking the lead as they outscored Italy 46-27.
Leading 63-56 as they entered the fourth quarter, Italy would need a big quarter if they were going to come away with the win here.
Using a big fourth quarter, Nico Mannion and Italy would outscore Nigeria 24-8, completing the comeback and stealing the win over Nigeria to advance.
Scoring four of his 14 points in the fourth quarter, Nico would get past his shooting woes, as he helped to propel Italy past Nigeria to advance to the Quarterfinals of Olympic play.
So far this tournament, Nico has played well, and he is building a lot of confidence as he heads into next season. And as Italy came away with the 80-71 win, he will get another great opportunity to play meaningful minutes as Italy advances to take on France on Tuesday.
As for former Wildcat Josh Green, he and Australia will take on Argentina in Quarterfinal’s play as well on Tuesday.