Izzy Cook part of massive upset at Junior College National Champs

Izzy Cook and Western Nebraska College Cougars caused the upset of the tournament on the second day of the  NJCAA (Junior College) Women’s National Basketball Championships in Texas. 

Western Nebraska, seeded #16 in the 24-team championship, knocked off top-seed Jones College 63-60 in the second round on Wednesday (NZT). The Cougars trailed 60-59 with 30 seconds to play but scored the last four points of the contest to record a memorable win. 

Izzy was at the heart of the action snaring 8 rebounds (4 at the offensive end) plus 3 points.

Western Nebraska advance to the Elite Eight and will enjoy a day off before playing Three Rivers Community College in the quarter-finals.

#18 Miles College caused an upset by defeating #15 Gulf Coast State yesterday but couldn’t repeat that form going down 72-55 to Trinity Valley in the second round. The season now over for Bree Trego and Molly Cockburn.

It’s the same fate for Deejan Schuler and #8 Casper College with the Lady T-Birds beaten 68-60 by Three Rivers. Deejan scored with her only shot and also provided an assist but Casper couldn’t overcome a 10-point half-time deficit. 

Playing their second round games tomorrow are Leah and Jenna Rose Mafua with #21 Otero College up against #5 northeast Florida State. 

In addition Grace Hunter and #4 South Plains will play #13 Georgia Highlands.

Games are shown live on the NJCAA Network https://www.njcaa.org/network

Junior College National Champs – Day 1 review

There is plenty of Kiwi interest in the NJCAA (Junior College) Women’s National Championships which began Tuesday (NZT).

Six teams, boasting a total of 10 Kiwis, are at the 24-team Junior College showpiece event and all but three players survive to the second round.

At the back end of the opening day #21 Otero College, Colorado trailed #12 Butler 67-65 with 2 minutes to play.

Featuring sisters Leah and Jenna Rose Mafua, Otero stormed home, rattling in the last 9 points of the game to win 74-67. Jenna Rose scored 6 points (2/3FG) while Leah nailed 4 from 10 three-pointers on her way to 16 points.

Earlier Taranaki’s Izzy Cook and Western Nebraska were first on court. Seeded 16, the Cougars took care of business against #17 Iowa Western winning 79-70.

Izzy got into a bit of foul trouble clocking four personal in 8 minutes but still managed 3 rebounds, an assist and a couple of points.

They now have the rather daunting prospect of taking on unbeaten top seed Jones College in the  second round tomorrow.

#18 Miles College caused a minor upset defeating #15 Gulf Coast State but it took overtime to split the two teams after the scores were knotted at 62 points apiece in regulation – Miles winning 76-72. Canterbury’s Molly Cockburn and Wellingtonian Bree Trego move on to face #2 Trinity Valley in the second round.

20th ranked Southern Idaho suffered an agonizing 65-62 loss to #13 Georgia Highlands. Southern Idaho led by three points at the three-quarter mark but were outscored 19-13 in the final period.

Conference All-First Team selection Kaitlin Burgess, led the Golden Eagles scoring with 13 points whilst also snaring 6 rebounds. 

Ashlee Strawbridge was the other Golden Eagle in double figures with 10 points while Kyra Paniora scored 8 points as the curtain came down on Southern Idaho’s season. 

Grace Hunter and South Plains are seeded four and had a first round bye today. 

Also enjoying the luxury of a first round bye were #8 Casper College with Te Aroha’s Deejan Schuler in the Lady T-Birds lineup.

Games are shown live on the NJCAA Network https://www.njcaa.org/network

Tall Ferns Overseas

The NBL1 season has commenced in Australia. The tier below the WNBL has four geographical divisions with Kiwi representation in all-four.

Jordan Hunter controlled the tempo for South Adelaide Panthers as they clawed Eastern Mavericks 103-75 in NBL1 Central action. Hunter finished with 11 assists and 2 steals to go with 7 points.

In NBL South play forward Penina Davidson had 15 points and 7 rebounds for Nunawading but the Spectres went down 90-78 to Frankston Blues in the opening round of action.

Toni Farnworth produced 6 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists but couldn’t prevent Ringwood Hawks going down 81-52 to Eltham Wildcats.

In NBL1 West Zoe Richards claimed 8 rebounds to go with 6 points as Rockingham Flames were burnt 85-78 by Cockburn Cougars.

Jordan Hunter laid a solid platform for South Adelaide Panthers as they clawed Eastern Mavericks 103-75 in NBL1 Central action. Hunter finished with 11 assists and 2 steals to go with 7 points.

NBL1 North, with a bunch of Tall Ferns playing including Chev Paalvast, Kalani Purcell and Micaela Cocks, begins next month.

In the Big V League Jacinta Beckley piled on 23 points (9/12FG) as Sunbury Jets defeated Bulleen Boomers 93-63.

Kiwis clip tickets for NJCAA Championships

Southern Idaho Golden Eagles

There will be plenty of Kiwi interest in the upcoming NJCAA (Junior College) National Championships after Southern Idaho, South Plains and Otero Colleges all claimed regional titles on Saturday.

After leading the Southern Idaho Golden Eagles to an 83-57 win over Snow College in the Region 18 Championship game Kaitlin Burgess was named Tournament MVP.

She posted 11 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists in the final having led all scorers with 22 points, making all 4 attempts from behind the arc, in the semi-final win against Utah State Eastern 24-hours earlier.

That semi-final featured no fewer than six Kiwis as Ella Bradley had 7 points and 6 rebounds for Utah State Eastern with Hannah Bradley scoring three points and Brooklyn Pouwhare claiming a couple of boards.

Back to the final and both Ashlee Strawbridge (8 points and 3 rebounds) and Kyra Paniora (6 assists) made significant contributions in the win.

Grace Hunter and South Plains also claimed championship success with a basket on the buzzer to defeat Weatherford College 74-72 to claim the Region 5 title.

Grace filled the stats line with 6 points, 3 rebounds, 9 assists, a steal and a block while Briarley Rogers had 4 points and 4 rebounds for the runners-up.

Leah Mafua and Otero College made it a hat-trick of wins for colleges with Kiwi connections taking out the Region 9 championship title with a 94-89 overtime win against Casper College – no box score details were available at the time of publishing this article.

Otero, South Plains and Southern Idaho, along with Miles Community College have gained automatic bids for the 24-team NJCAA (Junior College) National Championships, April 19-24.

The Selection Show takes place on Monday (NZT) when we will learn if other Kiwis will gain entry via the 8 at large picks.

We will provide an update when the Selection Show concludes.

Championship success for Kiwi’s in Junior College.

There are multiple conference championship wins to report as we roundup the latest happenings in Junior College basketball.

Molly Cockburn, Bree Trego and Miles Community College Pioneers are the Region XIII Mon-Dak champions, the title securing the Pioneers a place in the 24-team NJCAA (Junior College) National Championships, April 19-24.

Miles overpowered Dawson College 85-41 in a one-sided championship game to secure their second title in three years.

Three days earlier Miles proved too tough for Williston State winning 91-73 in the semi-finals.

Williston were severely hampered by Jazz Kailahi-Fulu’s foul trouble. She picked up two in the first quarter and ended up playing just 9 minutes before picking up her fifth with just 6 points to her credit.

Keeley Tini dropped 18 points and pulled down 9 rebounds to help keep Williston afloat while for Miles Molly Cockburn knocked down one of two free throw attempts.

Some disappointment at the loss was offset for the former Harbour Breeze pair with Jazz named to the Mon-Dak All-Conference First Team and Keeley to the All-Conference Second team.

Briarley Rogers and Weatherford College also secured a conference crown. Weatherford upset Grayson College 91-89 to claim the Northern Texas Conference title and will play South Plains in the Region V Final with the winners advancing to the National Championships.

Briarley was on fire in the final making 7 from 8 from the field, including all three three-point attempts as she tallied 18 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and a pair of steals.

South Plains match-up against Weatherford after defeating Midland College 68-59 to win the Western Athletic Conference. Grace Hunter led the South Plains scoring with 13 points and also dished 4 assists.

Deejan Schuler and Casper College Thunderbirds claimed the  Region IX North title with a commanding 100-51 win against Northwest College – the Waikato representative had a couple of points and assists in the win.

Jordyn Maddix scored 12 points and Parehuia Delamere compiled 8 rebounds, 3 steals and 5 points as Western Texas defeated Clarendon 90-57.

All four Kiwis got on the scoresheet as Utah State Eastern overpowered Southern Nevada 84-44.

Hannah Wentworth made it 59 points in the last three games for USE after tallying 20 (6/9 3PG) in this one. Ella Bradley was also in double figures with 10 points (5/7FG) while Kay-Hauata Phillips scored 5 and Brooklyn Pouwhare 4 points.

Leah Mafua pulled down 8 rebounds to accompany 11 points but Otero were soundly beaten by Western Nebraska 75-55 in their last regular season game.

Harata Coleman scored a couple of points as Barton College advanced to the Region VI quarter-finals with a commanding 88-50 defeat of Allen College.

The latest Junior College wrap including a career high for Keeley Tini

Keeley Tini and Williston State College have had a busy time with three games in four days.

The 2019 Breeze guard scored a career high 31 points (5/8 3PG, 10/12FT) in Williston’s 109-64 loss against Dawson College (15-4).

(Imogen Noble knocked down both of her shots (2/2FG) for Dawson in that game).

Keeley followed that up with 25 points as Williston got back to winning ways with a 77-70 victory against Bismarck. Jazz Kailahi-Fulu returned after an ankle injury to record an impressive 22 points and 10 rebounds.

The pair featured strongly in game three, a 71-62 loss to North Dakota State College of Science. Jazz had yet another double-double (19 points and 11 rebounds) while Keeley posted 12 points and 6 assists.

Southern Idaho defeated Utah State Eastern 80-73 in overtime with Kiwis on both sides making a mark.

Idaho’s Katlin Burgess led all scorers with 21 points while teammate Ashlee Strawbridge was all action with 9 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists and a pair of steals.

For Utah State (12-6) Ella Bradley scored 7 points, Brooklyn Pouwhare 4 and Hannah Wentworth 3.

Kaitlin (12 points) topped the SIC scoring again as they clinched at least a share of the Scenic West Athletic Conference title with an easy 77-41 win against Colorado Northwestern.

Briarley Rogers pulled down 6 rebounds to accompany 12 points (4/7FG) as Weatherford College (12-6) were defeated 92-67 at Grayson College.

Jordyn Maddix scored 9 points as Western Texas (8-6) beat Frank Phillips College 73-60.

Deejan Schuler scored 8 points (2/3 3PG, 2/2FT) as high flying Casper College defeated Laramie College 88-65. That’s 18 straight wins for Casper College.

Grace Hunter dished a career high 9 assists as South Plains headed Western Texas 70-43 with the Queen Mary’s College alumni adding 4 rebounds, 3 points and 2 steals.

Parehuia Delamere dragged down a team high 8 rebounds for Western Texas.

Webley exits NCAA Tournament after first dance

One of the two Kiwi representatives in the Men’s NCAA Tournament exited in the first round on Saturday.

Thomas Webley, the Cantabrian forward, secured 2 rebounds plus a pair of blocks as University of Hartford Hawks were ousted 79-55 by #1 Baylor.

Making their first NCAA Tournament appearance Hartford made an impressive start leading 14-13 after 12 minutes before Baylor, favoured to reach the Final Four, pulled away for a clear-cut win.

Webley, the former Cashmere High School standout, has enjoyed a successful freshman year scoring in double figures twice and averaging 3 points and 2.6 boards in 21 appearances for the America East Conference champions.

At the Men’s National Invitation Tournament (NIT) James Moors and Colorado State won an exciting contest against Buffalo 75-73 on Saturday.

The former Westlake Boys forward scored 11 points (5/10FG) and added 5 rebounds and a brace of assists, blocks and steals.

Emme Shearer led the Portland scoring in the Women’s NIT claiming 13 points (3/4 3PG) as the Pilots comfortably navigated their way past Abilene Christian 67-42. The former Harbour Breeze guard also posted 3 rebounds and a pair of assists.

Also with a win were Charlotte Whittaker and Colorado University Buffaloes who charged past Louisiana 68-45. The Cantabrian forward scored 6 points on 3 from 4 shooting.

Not such good news from Fordham as the Rams were butted 77-49 by Delaware. Kendell Heremaia was close to a double-double with 9 points and 9 rebounds plus 4 assists.

Coming up Sunday:

Men’s NCAA Tournament

Abilene Christian (Tobias Cameron) v #3 Texas 

Women’s Basketball Invitational Second Round

Portland (Emme Shearer) v Florida International/Northern Arizona

Women’s NIT Second Round

Colorado (Charlotte Whittaker) v Nebraska

Women’s NIT Consolation Round

Fordham University (Kendell Heremaia) v Ohio

Monday

Women’s NCAA Tournament

Washington State (Charlisse and Krystal Leger-Walker) v South Florida

Tuesday

Women’s NCAA Tournament

Virginia Commonwealth (Akiene-Tera Reed) v #4 Indiana

Kaylee Smiler and Tegan Graham (BYU) v Rutgers 

#3 Arizona (Tara Manumaleuga) v Stony Brook

Latest Junior College wrap – March 18

Hannah Wentworth scored a career high 24 points, in just 25 minutes, and three other Kiwis made their mark as Utah State Eastern (USE) dismissed Southern Nevada 92-59.

Hannah knocked down 6 from 8 from beyond the arc, all four freebies and also dished 4 assists. Ella Bradley was in good form registering 13 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists while Brooklyn Pouwhare (2 points and 4 rebounds) and Kay Hauata-Phillips (4 points) chipped in nicely.

USE then accounted for Colorado Northwestern winning 89-61 with Ella logging 10 points and Hannah notching 7.

Jazz Kailahi-Fulu scored a team high 21 points, to go with 11 rebounds and 5 assists, as Williston State accounted for United Tribes 79-70. Keeley Tini was also in double-double territory with 10 points, 10 rebounds plus 5 dimes.

Grace Hunter led all scorers with 14 points as #7 ranked South Plains beat Western Texas 58-54. The Wellingtonian filled the stats line with 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and a block in 38 minutes.

In reply Jordyn Maddix knocked down a couple of threes for Western Texas.

Briarley Rogers tallied 11 points (3/6 3PG) and 5 rebounds as Weatherford College defeated Collin College 81-59 to improve to 12-4 for the season.

Also hitting the 11 points mark was Kaitlin Burges as Southern Idaho defeated Snow College 65-58. Kaitlin also added 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals with Ashlee Strawbridge snaring 7 rebounds.

#23 ranked Miles Community College remain unbeaten! With a conference title already confirmed they won a 20thstraight game defeating Bismark State 94-64. Cantabrian guard Molly Cockburn scored an efficient 8 points (2/3FG, 2/2FT).

Latest Junior College Wrap – March 11

There is Kiwi representation in three of the top-10 Junior College women’s basketball teams in the States.

In the most recently published rankings Casper College (Dejan Schuler) are at number four followed by South Plains (Grace Hunter) at five and Western Nebraska (Izzy Cook) at ninth.

In their most recent game South Plains slipped to a 69-61 loss to Howard College – Grace dished a game high 6 assists and scored 4 points in that one.

There were no fewer than three Kiwis on each side when College of Southern Idaho took on Utah State Eastern and in a minor upset it was Utah State that grabbed a 69-59 win with Ella Bradley mustering 10 points (5/8FG), 5 rebounds and 4 assists for the victors. Hannah Wentworth bagged a pair of points and assists while Brooklyn Pouwhare dished an assist.

Fresh off the Scenic West Athletic Conference Player of the Week Award Kaitlin Burgess scored 14 points for Southern Idaho, Ashlee Strawbridge corralled a team high 6 rebounds and Kyra Paniora scored 2 points.

The Southern Idaho trio ran-up another bunch of numbers in the 88-39 demolition of Southern Nevada.

Kaitlyn led all scorers with 22 points (plus 5 assists), Ashlee contributed 7 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists while Kyra finished with 7 assists and a basket from her only shot.

In another contest with plenty of New Zealand interest Molly Cockburn (5 points) and Bree Trego (3 points) earned bragging rights as Miles College convincingly beat Williston State 74-45.

Williston’s Harbour pairing both produced double-doubles to continue their productive seasons. Keeley Tini had 11 points and 11 rebounds while Jazz Kailahi Fulu had 10 points and 10 rebounds.

The duo were in fine form a couple of days later despite Williston suffering an agonizing 64-63 loss to Dakota.

Jazz had 12 points (6/10FG), 9 rebounds and 4 assists while Keeley reeled off 18 points (4/8 3PG) and 11 rebounds.

Heeni Blakey scored 12 points for the second game running as Marshalltown went down 71-62 to Southwestern College.

Briarley Rogers scored 10 points and added 5 rebounds as Weatherford beat Cisco College 72-51, Weatherford now 10-3 this season.

According to the box scores Rashaan Smith only played 2 minutes in the Dawson College 70-46 win against Bismarck. However in that time she had a game high 3 blocks! 

Latest Junior College wrap

South Plains College, ranked #7 amongst all Junior Colleges in the States, demolished Frank Phillips College 84-52 with Grace Hunter scoring 12 points on 5/9 shooting. The former Queen Mary’s College standout also bucketed 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals in 31 minutes as the Lady Texans improved to 9-2 on the season

Keeley Tini earned herself a massive 13 trips to the foul-line (making 10 from 13) to earn a game high 19 points even though Williston State fell 78-56 to Dawson college.

Jazz Kailahi-Fulu was the only other Williston player in double figures tallying 15 points and 9 rebounds.

Southern Idaho Golden Eagles recorded a third straight win, 55-45 against Snow College. Kaitlin Burgess led Southern Idaho with 12 points and 4 assists while Ashlee Strawbridge had 9 points and a career high 15 rebounds that included 9 offensive boards!

Briarley Rogers scored 11 points (3/6 3PG) as Weatherford clinched a high scoring 110-101 overtime win against Collin College.

Heeni Blakey scored 10 points making 4 from 7 from the field as Marshalltown College went down to Des Moines Area College 76-53.

Rashaan Smith scored 8 points (4/7FG) to help Dawson College defeat Lake Region 79-46.

Izzy Cook had a handy 6 points (3/5FG) and 5 rebounds, including a team high 3 offensive boards, as Western Nebraska thumped Northeastern 91-46.

Parehuia Delamere claimed a team high 8 rebounds as Western Texas beat Howard 57-42. The former Harbour guard also snared 3 steals and scored 5 points.

March Madness Underway

March Madness kicks-in with force this week. The Lowdown will provide regular updates on how New Zealander’s are progressing.

First update here https://nz.basketball/at-a-glance-business-part-of-season-approaching-for-hoopers-in-the-us/

More Junior College news

In another busy week of Junior College action Kaitlin Burgess led all scorers with 23 points, making 5 from 7 from beyond the arc, as Southern Idaho College made easy work of Colorado Northwestern winning 84-50. It was the seventh double figure outing in twelve games for the former Rangitoto College guard who is enjoying a standout season along with teammate Ashlee Strawbridge.

Ashlee showed her value to Southern Idaho claiming 7 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and a block.

Three Kiwis scored in double figures as Williston State trumped Lake Region State 78-63. 

For Lake Region former Massey High forward Yzabelle Tevao scored 10 points (4/7FG) while for Williston Jazz Kailahi-Fulu stuffed most the major stats columns with 23 points (11/14FG), 12 rebounds, 5 blocks and 4 assists. Keeley Tini was almost as productive with 17 points (3/6 3PG), 6 rebounds and 5 assists.

Jazz is now 8th on the national Junior College leaderboard for scoring with 172 points with Keeley 22nd having scored 154 points. 

Another player to fill the stats line was Ella Bradley as Utah State Eastern pipped Salt Lake 63-60. The ex-Waikato Wizard conjured up an efficient 8 points (4/5FG), 6 rebounds, 4 assists and a block.

Jordyn Maddix and Parehuia Delamere combined for 7/13 from beyond the arc to help propel Western Texas to a 72-67 win at Howard College. Jordyn finished with a season high  19 points (5/10 3PG), plus 5 rebounds whilst Parehuia had a tidy 10 points (4/5FG), 4 rebounds and a couple of steals.

Guard Briarley Rogers bagged a dozen points (4/7FG) and 6 rebounds as Weatherford College accounted for Cisco 91-58.

Molly Cockburn scored 8 points in her first start for Miles Community College as they accounted for United Tribes 103-79.

Latest Junior College news

A break-out performance from Cantabrian Molly Cockburn highlights the latest Junior College roundup.

Molly nailed all four of her three-point shots on her way to a season best 17 points as Miles Community College climbed over Rocky Mountain 78-42.

Although well beaten former St Peter’s and Waikato forward Dominique Stephens peaked the Rocky effort with 12 points and 8 rebounds.

The North Harbour pairing of Jazz Kailahi-Fulu and Keeley Tini continue to carry a heavy load for Williston State College. In their 61-55 road win at Dakota at Bottineau, the pair scored half the teams points and secured 50% of the rebounds also.

Jazz finished with 17 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists while Keeley produced 14 points and 8 rebounds. The pair are leading Williston’s scoring this season, each averaging a shade over 14 points per game.

The pair again led the Williston scoring a couple of days later when they were defeated 64-52 by North Dakota State College of Science. Jazz led all scorers with 16 (7/9FG) and Keeley bagged 9 points.

No fewer than six players featured in Southern Idaho’s 64-52 success against Utah State Eastern. For the victors Kaitlyn Burgess continued her good scoring form and Ashlee Strawbridge demonstrated her rebounding prowess.

Kaitlyn finished with 15 points (6/8FG) and Ashlee 8 rebounds to go with 6 points while Kyra Paniora scored a couple of points.

For Utah State Brooklyn Pouwhare secured a pair of rebounds, Hannah Wentworth scored 6 points and Ella Bradley made 4 points to go with 5 rebounds.

Rashaan Smith posted her highest collegiate score tallying 11 points (5/6FG) as Dawson College easily accounted for United Tribes 106-44. Imogen Noble scored 4 points for Dawson in the same game.

Porirua’s Grace Hunter had a nice stats line of 9 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals as South Plains got the better of Clarendon College 79-58. South Plains are 5-0 in the Western Athletic Conference. South Plains are a highly touted #3 in the nation.

Heeni Blakey conjured 3 steals and a brace of assists to go with 8 points although Marshalltown were quashed 92-36 by Iowa Western.

Congratulations to Harata Coleman who scored her first collegiate points at the weekend. The former Opunake standout scored 3 points (1/2 3PG) as Barton cooked Neosho County 117-71.

Latest update from the States

Plenty of good performances to report from the States including an encouraging comeback from Tall Fern Amy West but it’s Charlisse Leger-Walker, now with seven Pac-12 Freshman of the Week Awards, that continues to excel.

All the news here: https://nz.basketball/at-a-glance-leger-walker-duo-hold-headlines-stateside/

Best Kiwi performances in Junior college in the past week

Heeni Blakey and Waiaaria Rogers scored 17 points apiece as Marshalltown College suffered an agonizing 86-83 overtime loss against Ellsworth. For good measure Waiaaria added 7 rebounds and Heeni 4 assists.

Kaitlin Burgess scored 15 points, Ashlee Strawbridge had 9 points (plus 11 rebounds) and Kyra Paniora tallied 7 points for Southern Idaho in their dominating 101-31 win over Christian Community College.

Strawbridge also had 8 points and 5 rebounds in a slightly more competitive game –  a 79-47 victory against Northwest College.

Former Massey High forward Yzabelle Tevao scored a season high 13 points (6/9FG) as Lake Region State were scuttled 80-66 by Bismarck.

A 10 points and 6 assists performance from Grace Hunter propelled South Plains to a 74-60 victory over Frank Phillips College.

She followed that with 8 points, 4 assists and 3 steals as South Plains improved to 6-1 with a comfortable 67-45 win against Howard College.

Ella Bradley had 7 rebounds, including 6 off the offensive glass, and also added 7 points and Hannah Wentworth scored 6 but Utah State Eastern were beaten 70-63 by Casper College.

Kiwi versus Kiwi

It took double overtime to separate Western Nebraska and Casper College with Dejaan Schuler departing with the grin after Casper prevailed 95-88. Izzy Cook grabbed 6 rebounds and a couple of steals for Western Nebraska.

Molly Cockburn could also force a smile after Miles College got the better of Williston State 79-63.  Once again Jazz Kailahi-Fulu (19 points and 8 rebounds) and Keeley Tini (14 points and 9 rebounds) carried a heavy load for Williston. 

Congratulations to Rashaan Smith on making her first collegiate point as Dawson College defeated Williston State 76-52. Kailahi-Fulu recorded 8 points, 7 rebounds and 5 blocks for Dawson.

Plenty of strong Kiwi performances in college Div II play

Aniwaniwa Tait-Jones (#15)

In this roundup of men’s college hoops we put the primary spotlight on those players playing at NCAA Division II universities – seven of them scored in double figures in the past week.

Aniwaniwa Tait-Jones posted good numbers as Hawaii at Hilo improved to 5-1 in the PacWest Conference with a pair of wins against Hawaii Pacific. In the first game he tallied 15 points and 7 rebounds while in game two he posted his second double-double of the season adding 10 rebounds to 16 points (6/10FG).

The freshman out of St Pat’s College is averaging 16.7 points and 8.2 rebounds for Hilo.

Also in the PacWest Mac Stodart top scored for Concordia Irvine in the PacWest Conference. Biola beat them 94-78 although Stodart will take satisfaction from a 16-point outing, his best score in seven games played this season.

13 points, 6 rebounds, 3 steals and 3 assists from Wilfred Dickson were not enough to secure South Dakota Mines the win against Colorado Mesa. Mines are 7-6 in conference play after losing 82-77 in double overtime.

Will Heather didn’t miss a shot (9/9FG, 1/1FT) on his way to 19 points.  His career-best effort helped Dallas Baptist beat Texas A&M Commerce 80-69 to improve to 12-2, and second on the ladder in the Lone Star Conference.

Another Rosmini College old boy Marvin Williams Dunn scored a season high 12 points (4/5 3PG) and also grabbed a couple of steals but it was insufficient to stop Ouachita Baptist falling 68-57 to Arkansas-Monticello.

11 points and 5 assists from Matt Brien was also on a losing side as Nebraska at Kearney went down 87-79 to Central Oklahoma.

Connor Flannagan was within a rebound of a double-double in West Florida’s 71-66 loss to West Georgia. The former Auckland Grammar man finished with 10 points, 9 rebounds and a couple of assists.

Former Rongotai College guard Finn McClure came up with 10 points and 7 assists and pair of steals as Milligan University went down in overtime by just two-points (84-82) against Point University in the NAIA.

Meanwhile Kruz Perrott-Hunt made it four double digit contributions in a row as his 11 points (5/10FG) helped South Dakota past pre-season favourites South Dakota State 64-56. That’s 10 wins in a row for the Summit League leaders.

Despite 10 points and 7 rebounds from Yuat Alok Coppin State University went down 95-82 to Morgan State University – Coppin now 6-4 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

Also with 10 points was James Moors as Colorado State edged Wyoming 74-72. The tally means Moors, in his freshman year, has passed 100 points for the season, with Colorado 10-3 in conference fixtures.

In Junior College Taranaki’s Nico Hill had a balanced 7 points and 7 rebounds (3 at the offensive end) to help Missouri State University–West Plains to a 93-84 win against South Arkansas Tech.

Former St Peter’s trio shine, Dale headed to Virginia

The former St Peter’s School, Cambridge trio of Kendell Heremaia, Charlisse and Krystal Leger-Walker are all in good form.

Charlisse will likely have another Pac-12 Freshman of the Week award after two prodigious performances for Washington State University at the weekend. Firstly WSU knocked off #5 UCLA 67-63 with Charlisse scoring the last nine points for the Cougars to finish with a game-high 28 points. She made 7 of her 15 shots, 4 of 8 from beyond the arc and was 10 of 12 from the free throw line.

Despite WSU then going down 81-71 to USC Charlisse was still in prolific form. 24 points (4/11 3PG, 6/7FT), 7 assists and 4 rebounds testimony to that. 

There was also  big numbers from Krystal L-W who over the two games accumulated 17 points 8 boards and 14 dimes. KL_W now has 401 career assists.

2017 Junior Tall Fern McKenna Dale has announced that she will play for the University of Virginia Cavaliers next season. Dale has spent the last three years at Ivy League school Brown University. 

She has two years of playing eligibility left as she missed her sophomore year at Brown due to an ACL injury, and lost the current season due to COVID as the Ivy League was cancelled. In 2019-20 she was second on the Brown team in scoring (13.4ppg) and rebounding (5.3rpg).

Dale will complete her undergraduate degree from Brown before undertaking the Master’s programme at Virginia studying public policy.

Following her Atlantic 10 Conference Player of the Week award, the previous week, Kendell Heremaia was again prominent as Fordham secured their fourth straight win, a come from behind 56-53 defeat of Rhode Island.

Heremaia scored 11 points and tallied three each of rebounds, steals and assists.

Tegan Graham scored 13 points (3/4 3PG) and grabbed 4 rebounds as BYU beat Loyola Marymount 69-50 in West Coast Conference play. Kaylee Smiler chipped in with 4 points and a couple of assists as BYU improved to 7-2 in conference play.

Graham has made an impressive 51% (25 of 49) three-pointers this season.

Helen Matthews bagged 9 points as Wofford (6-3) moved up to third on the Southern Conference standings after a 67-44 win against Chattanooga. Pare Pene knocked down her only shot of the game for Cattanooga.

In NAIA action Michelle Nicholls had a nice double at the weekend as Central Methodist (11-5) secured a brace of wins to make that six successes on the bounce. Nicholls had 11 points (3/5 3PG) and 7 rebounds as Central Methodist showed no compassion for Mount Mercy winning 99-74. They followed that with a 71-57 victory over Culver-Stockton with Nicholls making 9 points, 4 assists and 4 steals.

Plenty to like in second Junior College roundup

Kaitlin Burgess

College of Southern Idaho recorded an outstanding 81-77 win against Western Nebraska. 

Western Nebraska, #14 in the country had not lost at home for four years but aided by 14 points from Kaitlin Burgess and 10 points from Ashlee Strawbridge CSI pulled off a stunning victory. 

CSI’s success continued. On the back of 25 points and 10 rebounds from Burgess the Golden Eagles outlasted Eastern Wyoming winning 88-77. The double success propelled Southern Idaho to #21 on the national NJCAA rankings.

The highest ranked team with a kiwi on the roster are South Plains College Texans. Grace Hunter enjoyed a nice double as South Plains scored a brace of wins. She scored 11 points in the narrow (49-48) win against Kilgorie and the Wellingtonian followed that with 13 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists in the 70-60 conference opener against Midland.

All three Williston State Kiwis featured in the starting line-up as Williston scored a comfortable 80-44 win against United Tribes Tech.

Jazz Kailahi-Fulu posted her second double-double of the season and Keeley Tini her first as Williston State sunk Bismark State 68-55. Both scored 20 points with Tini adding 11 rebounds, a steal and a block while JK-F had a prolific 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals and 2 blocks. 

Utah State University Eastern have four New Zealand players and the quartet all got good minutes as USUE had little difficulty with Christian Community College, winning the triple header by an average of 70 points. 

Hannah Wentworth averaged 11 points across the three games, Ella Bradley averaged 10,  Brooklyn Pouwhare 5 points and 9 rebounds with Kay-Hauata Phillips also averaging 9 boards plus 7 points. 

Heeni Blakey scored 10 points (4/73PG) but Marshalltown College Tigers were well beaten by Des Moines Area College 88-41.

Congratulation to Dejaan Schuler and Molly Cockburn who scored their first collegiate points this week.

Dejaan for Casper College in their 78-39 win against Northeastern. The former Te Aroha College standout knocked down her only shot – a three!

Molly scored her first points for Miles Community College in their 84-70 defeat of Dawson College.

Kiwi Men – Division I and II Wrap

Kruz Perrott-Hunt recorded a career high 16 points (3/4 3PG) as University of South Dakota registered an easy 91-59 home win against Omaha. South Dakota are unbeaten in the Summit League with an 8-0 record after completing the double over Omaha with a tighter 97-93 success – Perrott-Hunt 10 points in game two.

Tobias Cameron scored a season best 12 points (3/4 3PG) as Abilene Christian took care of business against ACU winning 82-72 and are now 5-1 in the Southland Conference.

Yuat Alok scored 10 points on 5 from 7 shooting but Coppin State University fell 79-76 to Morgan State and are now 5-2 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

In Division II play Wilfred Dickson top scored for South Dakota Mines in their 67-55 loss to Colorado Springs. The Hawkes Bay native is averaging 14 points a game this season and surpassed that with 19 for the Hardrockers who are 6-5 in the Rocky Mountain Athletics Conference. 

Also tallying 19 points and elevating himself to the team’s top scorer was Aniwaniwa Tait-Jones as Hawaii at Hilo narrowly defeated Chaminade 69-68. Tait-Jones made 4 from 9 from deep and also added 3 assists as Hilo improved to 3-1 in the PacWest Conference.

Dallas Baptist are up to #11 in the Division II rankings but had to be content with sharing the spoils against Permain Basin. Having lost 99-97 in overtime on Friday they dominated Saturday’s fixture winning 91-74. Will Heather was prominent in both games totaling 28 points (13/19FG), 6 rebounds and 4 blocks during the two outings.

Conor Flanagan produced 10 points (4/7FG) and 6 rebounds to help propel West Florida University Argonauts to a solid 101-65 win against Shorter University. The Argonauts now 4-6 in Gulf South Conference fixtures.

Heremaia busts 20 then buses to the Bronx

Kendell Heremaia and Fordham University had to bus it back to the Bronx in a snow storm after their flight had been cancelled. The journey was made less uncomfortable after securing a 73-55 win at Davidson on Sunday.

Heremaia posted her second straight 20-point game and notched her ninth career double-double with 11 rebounds whilst also leading the team in assists (4) and steals (3). The senior now has 898 career points for the Rams (6-2 in the Atlantic-10 Conference).

Akienne-Tera Reed made a massive contribution to Virginia Commonwealth’s double success against the two George’s. In the 67-60 victory against George Washington Reed nailed 18 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists and a season high 4 steals. VCU’s leading scorer followed that with 9 points and 8 rebounds in the 64-56 overtime win against George Mason.

VCU now tied with Fordham at 6-2 in the Atlantic 10 Conference – joint fourth on the ladder.

Also enjoying a fine all-round game was Helen Matthews in Wofford Terriers 63-59 win against North Carolina Greensboro. The former Kaiopoi College guard dished 7 assists to go with 9 points, 4 rebounds and 2 steals playing a team high 34 minutes. 

Mate v Mate

Emme Shearer scored what proved to be the winning basket with under two minutes remaining as Portland beat St Mary’s, California 69-68. Shearer finished with a career high 16 points (7/12FG) as Portland completed the double over the Gaels, moving to 6-3 in West Coast Conference play – 3rd place on the league table.

Tayla Dalton corralled 3 rebounds for St Mary’s with Jade Kirisome scoring 8 points.

Dalton snared a season best 4 steals (plus 5 points) but St Mary’s suffered a 79-52 defeat at the hands of West Coast Conference leaders Gonzaga in their second game of the week.

All good things must come to an end.

Charlisse Leger-Walker had begun her college career with 12 straight double figure scores, a feat that had helped her earn five Pac-12 Freshman of the Week Awards.

That run came to an abrupt halt against Stanford University. In back to back defeats against No 6 ranked Stanford Leger-Walker scored a total of eight points having averaged 20.3ppg in the previous 12 games. 

Krystal Leger-Walker fared a little better totaling 14 points and 8 assists across the two games as Washington State slipped to 6-6 in conference play. 

Wrap on kiwis playing in Junior College

Keeping up to date with the numerous Kiwis playing Junior College basketball in the States is a little challenging. 

However, with the Junior College (NJCAA) season just getting underway, here is our first roundup of the actiona and already there have been some standout efforts from New Zealand players.

On Waiaaria Rogers scored 18 points (4/73PG) as Marshalltown College Tigers  defeated Southeastern 63-50. The former Rangitoto shooting guard made 4 from 7 from three-point land whilst fellow kiwi Heeni Blakey tallied 6 points.

The pair were in double figure scoring form a couple of days later despite Marshalltown going down 73-55 to Southwestern, Blakey scored 13 points and Rogers 11 points.

Grace Hunter was all business as South Plains College opened their campaign with a pair of wins. The Wellingtonian tallied 19 points (7/11FG), 8 rebounds, 9 assists and 3 blocks in the two games.

Three Kiwis were on show as Weatherford College defeated Western Texas 80-67. Briarley Rogers scored 10 points for Weatherford whilst Jordyn Maddix and Parehuia Delamere lined up for Western Texas College. Delamere came up with a massive 6 steals to add to 5 points and 4 rebounds.

A couple of days earlier the Maddix and Delamere had faced off against sisters Leah and Jenna Rose Mafua. Leah notched a team high 8 rebounds and added 4 points whilst Jenna Rose scored 6 points but the Harbour duo were the grinners on the day with Western Texas beating Otero 54-40.

Williston State, with a trio of Kiwis haven’t made the best start to the season losing their opening three games.

In their most recent loss, 74-48 to North Dakota, Jazz Kailahi-Fulu (19 points and 8 rebounds) and Keeley Tini (12 points) were the only Williston players in double figures whilst Kararaina Pene dished 3 assists.

Utah State Eastern claimed the double over Arizona Western to begin their campaign. In the second win Ella Bradley stuffed the stats line with 11 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks. USE followed that with a completely one sided 111-27 win against Christian Community. Brooklyn Pouwhare snared 13 rebounds in that one with Hannah Wentworth knocking down 5 from 9 threes for 15 points..

Also filling the stats line was Ashlee Strawbridge in her first collegiate game for #25 ranked Southern Idaho. The Cantabrian notched 7 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks and 2 steals in Idaho’s 83-67 loss to Casper College whilst Kyra Paniora chipped in with 6 points.

Southern Idaho bounced back four days later with Kaitlin Burgess scoring 10 points in a comfortable 76-42 win against Western Wyoming.

Former Taranaki rep Izzy Cook scored 4 points as Western Nebraska also won a one sided affair – 113-28 against Central Wyoming.

Samantha Meadows (5 points, 8 rebounds and 3 steals) and Miya Riwaka (2 points and 2 rebounds) for Central Wyoming.

Yzabelle Tevao scored her first college points making 3 from 4 from the field as Lake Region State defeated University Jamestown 83-73, Zoe Ebbitt was also on the scoresheet with 5 points.

Dejan Schuler played 4 minutes for Casper College in their narrow 64-62 win against Snow College.

Harata Coleman made a brief appearance for Barton College as they cruised past Highland 78-41.

Likewise Molly Cockburn came off the bench as Miles made a winning start (8160) against Bismark.

Lot to like about Alok

The performance of the week in men’s college basketball belonged to Yuat Alok as Coppin State defeated Norfolk State 81-77 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. In just his fourth game for Coppin, Alok scored a career high 18 points (8/12FG) and pulled down 8 rebounds.

Not far behind in the pecking order was Dan Fotu who scored 16 points as St Mary’s College, California won 65-61 on the road at Marymount. Fotu went 6/8 from the foul line and 4 from 8 from the field.

Quinn Clinton iced the game with a pair of free throws for his only points in the game as St Mary’s grabbed their second West Coast Conference win in three days. St Mary’s also defeated San Francisco 67-63 with Fotu scoring 11 points, his fourth consecutive double figure haul.

Also in the West Coast Conference Taki Farensohn scored 7 points but Portland suffered a heavy defeat at BYU going down 95-67.

Flynn Cameron posted 11 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists as University of California Riverside deposited CSU Bakersfield 70-63. Angus McWilliam contributed 3 points and a couple of rebounds as Riverside improved to 4-2 in the Big West Conference ahead of a 12-day break.

Flynn’s brother Tobias made 8 points, 4 rebounds and 6 assists as high flying Abilene Christian demolished Central Arkansas 93-58. Abilene are 12-3 overall and 4-1 in the Southland Conference.

Davidson College improved to 6-2 in the Atlantic 10 Conference after a 69-60 win against Massachusetts. Sam Mennenga had 11 points (5/11FG) and 8 rebounds, 3 of those at the offensive end, plus 6 points for Davidson. Those points carried the former Westlake Boys forward past 100 points for the season at 7.5 points per outing.

Kruz Perrott-Hunt scored a season best 10 points to accompany 5 rebounds as South Dakota improved to 6-0 in the Summit League with an 84-74 win against Western Illinois.

Anzac Rissetto scored 7 points as North Carolina Charlotte trumped Florida Atlantic 74-71 and are now 3-3 in Conference USA.

In NCAA Division II Conor Flanagan amassed a career high 23 points (8/14FG, 5/7 3PG) but couldn’t prevent West Florida going down 83-70 to Lee University.

Equally impressive was Wilfred Dickson who amassed 26 points (7/11FG) as South Dakota School of Mines won a tight encounter against Black Hills State 79-78 to move to 6-4 in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. Dickson is enjoying a fine senior year averaging 13.4ppg.

Concordia-Irvine opened PacWest Conference play with a pair of losses to Point Loma. Across the two games Mac Stodart scored 22 points (8/15FG, 3/53PG).

The two game series between Dallas Baptist and Midwestern State was decided by just 2 points with DBU following up an 80-81 win with an even more dramatic 91-90 victory – the second victory courtesy of an in-bounds alley-oop play with 0.3 seconds left on the clock. Will Heather played his part in the wins totaling 25 points (10/18FG) across the two games. 

Also with 8 points was Matt Brien for Nebraska at Kearney with the Lopers well beaten by Missouri Southern State, 85-57.

Krystal Leger-Walker brings up 100 games in style.

Krystal Leger-Walker celebrated her 100th NCAA Division I appearance with a fine individual performance and the W, as Washington State Cougars claimed a narrow 77-75 double overtime win against Oregon State.

Krystal led the Cougars scoring with 23 points, claiming 6 rebounds and a season high 5 steals. She now has 150 points for the season averaging 12.5ppg.

In an impressive family double Charlisse posted 22 points, 5 rebounds and 3 steals – her 12th straight double figure tally and 7th game scoring 20 points or more.

The twelve straight double digit scores represent the longest double figure scoring streak to begin a Washington State career.

It was the fourth overtime game in the last five games (two won, two lost) for Washington State who now have a 6-4 Pac-12 Conference record.

Fordham University improved to 5-2 in the Atlantic 10 Conference with Kendell Heremaia prominent in a 68-49 win at St Bonaventure. Heremaia finished with 20 points, including 4 from 8 threes, as well as 8 rebounds and 4 assists.

Jade Kirisome and Tayla Dalton made double figure contributions as St Mary’s, California recorded a 79-61 win at home to Pepperdine. 

Kirisome scored 12 points and Dalton 10 – St Mary’s 2-6 in West Coast Conference play.

Amiee Books run of eleven consecutive games in double figures came to an end at Hawaii as Cal State Fullerton went down 57-43 to the hosts. Book, just one point shy of continuing her sequence, finished with 9 points plus 5 rebounds and a couple of blocks.

Wofford College split the spoils with Western Carolina winning one and losing the other in a weekend double header. Helen Mathews secured 6 rebounds and added a couple of points in a 65-45 win followed by 6 points in a 65-54 loss on Saturday.

Akienne-Tera Reed dished a game high 5 assists and also scored 7 points but Virginia Commonwealth couldn’t overcome Richmond going down 69-64, VCU now 4-2 in Atlantic 10 play.

Emme Shearer nabbed 6 points and a couple of steals but Portland were defeated 79-61 by #18 ranked Gonzaga.

In NCAA Division II play Tessa Talo-Tomokino played a season high 30 minutes as Northeastern registered an 89-79 double overtime win against Lincoln. TT-T came up with 6 assists, 4 points and 3 rebounds as Northeastern improve to 4-8.

Eva Langton (10 points) was one of only two Texas A&M International players in double figures as they were punished 85-42 by Lone Star Conference leaders Lubbock Christian.

In the NAIA Michelle Nicholls popped up with 7 points and 7 rebounds as Central Methodist, now 8-4 in conference fixtures beat Grand View 77-56.

Junior College play is underway with a bunch of Kiwis making their debuts. We will try and bring you a full rundown later in the week but ahead of that it’s worth highlighting the performances of Waiaaria Rogers and Heeni Blakey

Rogers scored 18 points (4/73PG) as Marshalltown College Tigers  defeated Southeastern 63-50. The former Rangitoto shooting guard made 4 from 7 from three-point land whilst teamate Blakey tallied 6 points.

The pair were in double figure scoring form a couple of days later despite Marshalltown going down 73-55 to Southwestern – Blakey scored 13 points and Rogers 11 points.

Alok to Coppin, Fotu to the fore, as kiwis chime in college hoops

The biggest news from men’s college basketball this week concerns Rangitoto College alumni Dan Fotu and Yuat Alok.

Alok has resurrected his college career, with immediate effect, at Coppin State University where former Breakers Head Coach Kevin Braswell is an assistant coach. 

Alok was thrown in the deep end last weekend as he started both games of Coppin’s double header against Morgan State. Coppin earned a win and a loss with the former Rangitoto big man claiming 10 points (4/8FG) and 4 rebounds on debut followed by 6 points and 6 rebounds 24-hours later.

Meanwhile Dan Fotu enjoyed one of the best games of his three-year college career as St Mary’s, California gave #1 ranked Gonzaga as much as they could handle before going down 73-59. 

The Tall Black forward scored a team high 15 points (6/10FG) and added 7 rebounds whilst playing a massive 38 minutes. Quinn Clinton chimed in with 8 points as the kiwi duo made a combined 5 from 11 threes.

Sam Mennenga was within a rebound of his first double-double for Davidson College as the Wildcats defeated St Joseph’s 80-66.

Mennenga finished with 9 rebounds to accompany 15 points, knocking down 3 from 5 from beyond the three-point arc as Davidson moved to 2-2 in the Atlanic-10.

Fellow Westlaker James Moors scored a season high 14 points as Colorado State University thumped San Jose State 88-61 with CSU now 7-1 in the Mountain West Conference league.

In a non-conference game Flynn Cameron came up with 12 points, as Cal Riverside pushed the highly touted USC all the way before going down 67-62 in overtime. 

The former Junior Tall Black followed that with 13 points in Riverside’s thumping of Cal Poly (86-51) – Angus McWilliam 6 points (3/3FG) in that one, with Riverside now 3-1 in the Big West Conference.

In NCAA Division II play things couldn’t have gone much better for Aniwaniwa Tait-Jones. The former St Pat’s college captain made a stunning PacWest Conference start amassing 41 points (17/30FG, 4/9 3PG) and 20 rebounds as Hawaii at Hilo completed a pair of wins against Hawaii Pacific. 

Fellow Kiwi Tom Power added a pair of rebounds to 2 points in the second Hilo win.

Wilfred Dickson scored a team high 18 points (7/12FG) as South Dakota School of Mines gained a narrow 74-70 win against Regis. The former Napier Boys High guard also added 9 rebounds as he reached the 100 points mark for the season at 12.5 points per game.

Will Heather dished a career high 8 assists as Dallas Baptist eased past Oklahoma Christian 90-79. The former Rosmini forward added 4 points, 4 rebounds and 3 blocks for Dallas Baptist that are 7-1 in the Lone Star Conference.

Matt Brien scored a team high 16 points (6/12FG) and also snared 6 boards as Nebraska at Kearney saw off Missouri Western 75-67.

Mac Stodart made a start for Concordia-Irvine in their opening PacWest Conference fixture, a 93-84 loss to Northwest Nazarine. Stodart made 11 points on 4 from 8 shooting.

Reihanna Maxwell-Topia’s 8 points (2/4 3PG) and 3 rebounds helped St Joseph’s Fighting Saints to a 68-63 road win at Trinity Christian.

Plenty to like from the States

The stunning sequence of performances by Washington State University Cougars and the guard duo of Krystal and Charlisse Leger-Walker continues to make headlines.

Last week we reported Charlisse had scored the game-winner in the overtime win against Arizona that had carried WSU to #25 ranking in the country.

That has been followed by two more overtime games with the Leger-Walker’s amassing 83 points in the process. Unfortunately both games resulted in narrow defeats with an 81-77 loss at USC and a 66-68 defeat at #8 ranked UCLA.

Against USC, Krystal (23) and Charlisse (29) combined for a remarkable 52 points, 12 rebounds and 8 assists. The numbers against UCLA were not quite so eye watering but still amounted to 31 points, 11 rebounds, 7 assists.

Whilst Charlisse has understandably been garnering most the headlines, after all she leads the Pac-12 in scoring (19.7ppg) and steals (3.0spg), Krystal has been in outstanding form herself.

The senior guard is averaging 12.4 points per game and is 4th on both the Pac-12 three-point shooting list (making 44.7% from deep) and the assists board (4.0 per game).

Things won’t get any easier for WSU (5-3) over the coming days with trips to #10 ranked Oregon and the #1 ranked Stanford.

Talking of Stanford, Charlotte Whittaker and Colorado Buffaloes produced the upset of the week beating the top dogs 77-72 in overtime. Whittaker played 16 minutes off the bench contributing a 2 points, 2 rebounds and a pair of assists. It was the Buffaloes first ever win against Stanford in Pac-12 play.

A fine all-round performance from Kendell Heremaia helped propel Fordham to a 72-63 win at St Louis. The senior finished with 14 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists as Fordham moved to 4-2 in the Atlantic 10. Those points moved Heremaia to 99 for the season at 11.0ppg.

A relieved Cal State Fullerton gained their first win of the season beating Concordia University 69-51. Amiee Book, Fullerton’s leading scorer this season, was at her stats stuffing best accumulating 14 points (5/12FG, 2/3 3PG), 2 assists, 3 rebounds, 2 steals and 3 blocks.

Akienne-Tera Reid accumulated a tidy 11 points, 4 rebounds, a pair of assists and a brace of steals as Virginia Commonwealth moved to 4-0 in the Atlantic-10 Conference with a dominant 60-41 win against George Mason.

That was followed by a 55-49 loss to Massachusetts with Reed compiling 9 points, 6 boards and 4 assists.

Portland had a win at San Francisco and a loss at Santa Clara with Emme Shearer recording  6 points plus 3 steals in both games – Portland 4-2 in West Coast Conference play.

Eva Langton played a starring role as Texas A&M International stretched their NCAA Division II unbeaten run to seven games with a 69-59 win at St Edwards. The Taranaki guard recorded her first double-double in Texas A&M colours with 11 rebounds and 20 points (7/14Fg, 5/6FT).

In a Junior College pre-season game Williston State College, featuring a trio of Kiwis, lost 74-53 to Dawson College.

All three New Zealander’s made scoring contributions for Williston – Jazz Kailahi-Fulu (12 points), Keeley Tini (5 points and 6 rebounds) and Kararaina Pene (3 points).

Flynn Cameron heads Men’s College performances this week

Flynn Cameron found some good scoring form in the Big West Conference at the weekend.

The former Junior Tall Blacks guard accumulated 26 points on 10/12 from the field including 4/5 from beyond the arc as California Riverside recorded a win and a loss against Hawaii on Saturday and Sunday.

Cameron is shooting the three-ball at a highly efficient 48% (12/25) this season and profiting from his move from De Paul to Riverside.

Despite going down 75-72 in overtime to Belmont Abbey, Anzac Rissetto enjoyed a productive outing for North Carolina Charlotte. The former Auckland Grammar centre corralled a team high 8 rebounds, including five on the offensive glass, 11 points and 3 steals – all those numbers, plus the 32 minutes played, were career highs for Rissetto.

James Moors scored 8 points (3/5FG) as Colorado State kept rolling with a narrow 83-80 win against UNLV. Colorado State are off to an encouraging 4-0 start in the Mountain West Conference.

Kruz Perrott-Hunt (6 points and 3 rebounds) made 2 from 3 from long range as South Dakota got the better of Kansas City winning 68-62.

St Mary’s College, California went down 66-64 to Santa Clara with both Dan Fotu and Quinn Clinton scoring each scoring 6 points for the Gaels.

Another six-point tally went the way of Taki Fahrensohn (2/3 3PG) as Portland went down, unsurprisingly, 116-88 to #1 ranked Gonzaga.

NCAA Division II

Marvin Williams-Dunn recorded 5 assists in his collegiate debut for Ouachita Baptist University in their season opener at Harding University. The former Rosmini College point guard also scored a couple of points as Ouachita went down 84-77.

Will Heather scored 13 points on 6 from 7 shooting but couldn’t prevent Dallas Baptist losing their first game of the season, 84-71 against West Texas A&M ranked #3 in NCAA Division II basketball.

DBU, ranked #21 themselves turned the tables in the second game of the weekend with Heather getting 6 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 blocks.

Former Auckland Grammar big man Conor Flannagan scored a college career high 15 points as University of West Florida beat Auburn Montgomery 78-70 to improve to 2-1 in Gulf South Conference play.

Also in Division II play Matt Brien (3/7 3PG) scored 12 points to help Nebraska at Kearney to a 72-69 win against Central Missouri. The former St Pat’s and St Kevin’s, Oamaru guard is enjoying a promising start to his collegiate career playing over 20 minutes per game this season.

NAIA

In NAIA play Maxim Stephens came close to a double-double as Rocky Mountain College rolled past Montana Western 83-59. The Waikato big man recorded 16 points and 8 rebounds.

Finn McClure totaled 8 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists as Milligan University fell 80-64 to Columbia International.

Charlisse and Krystal continue to get it done in good week for Kiwi women

Under normal circumstances the performances of Akienne-Tera Reed, Kendell Heremaia, Amiee Book or Tegan Graham would be worthy top billing acts but on Monday morning (NZ time) the Leger-Walker’s, Charlisse and Krystal usurped that quartet to steal the headlines.

Washington State beat No 7 ranked Arizona 71-69 in overtime after trailing by 16 points at one stage. The win boosted their Pac-12 record to 5-1 with the L-W’s playing huge roles.

Charlisse finished with a team high 17 points (plus 5 assists) although it was two critical plays that stood out. A reverse lay-up tied proceedings in regulation with 3 seconds to play before she made a buzzer beating left hander in traffic at the end of the extra five minutes to seal the deal. The fist pump and jig after the play showed what it meant to Charlisse.

“Those who know me, know I don’t get too high or too low but when I made that shot I was so high,” exclaimed the freshman guard.

Krystal was equally prominent as she threatened a double-double finishing with 14 points and 9 assists whilst playing all 45 minutes of an enthralling contest.

Amiee Book carried California State Fullerton on her shoulders as the Titans went searching for their first conference win against Big West leaders Long Beach State.

Book amassed a season high 21 points (8/12FG, 4/5 3PG), 4 rebounds and 3 steals as Fullerton fell to an agonising 66-64 loss. It was the 10th straight game in double figures for Book who is averaging 15.9 points per game, making 46% (17/37) of her shots from beyond the arc.

Akienne-Tera Reed and Virginia Commonwealth University played two overtime games in three days and prevailed in both Atlantic-10 contests. They beat Duquesne 68-63 and Bonaventure 69-67 with Reed totaling 16 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists a block and a steal against Duquesne followed by 15 points and 7 rebounds. 

VCU are 3-0 in the Atlantic-10 Conference with Fordham University Rams 3-2 after a win and a loss at the weekend.

Kendell Heremaia made 4 from 6 threes in tallying 16 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists as the Rams beat Rhode Island 64-58 for a third consecutive Atlantic-10 victory. That run was brought to a halt on Sunday with Fordham going down 61-56 to Massachusetts, Heremaia fouling out in 18 minutes with 8 points and a couple of boards.

Tegan Graham scored a season high 14 points and Kaylee Smiler contributed 9 points as BYU continued their good form with a 71-57 win against Loyola Marymount in West Coast Conference (WCC) play.

The pair knocked down 7 seven of BYU’s 9 threes in the game Graham converting 4 from 5 and Smiler 3 from 4 attempts from beyond the arc. 

Also in the West Coast Conference Emme Shearer scored 6 points but Portland were thumped 75-43 by conference leaders Gonzaga. 

7 points from Tsubasa Nisbett (2/2FG, 2/2FT) helped Georgia Southern to a massive 87-56 win over Appalachian State in the Sun Belt Conference.

She’s had to wait a while but Dominique Stephens was finally able to make her debut for Rocky Mountain College. The former Waikato and St Peter’s School representative scored 7 points (3/4FG) in her first collegiate game as Rocky went down 79-66 at Montana Eastern in NAIA action.

Also in NAIA Michelle Nicholls scored 9 points for Central Methodist in their 81-62 loss at Benedictine.

The ‘M Men’ Moors, Mennenga and McClure get the W’s

Colorado State University produced their largest comeback in programme history to beat San Diego State 70-67 in Mountain West Conference play.

James Moors (5 points and 6 rebounds) played 17 minutes off the bench for Colorado, the astonishing win made even more notable given San Diego were ranked #23 in the country.

San Diego got a degree of revenge a couple of days later completing a 78-65 victory in the second game of the double header. It was another promising outing from Moors as he scored 9 points on 5 from 7 shooting.

Davidson University improved to 2-1 in Atlantic-10 Conference play with a solid 61-48 victory at Duquesne. Sam Mennenga, starting for the tenth straight game, finished with 6 points and 7 rebounds for Davidson.

Kruz Perrott-Hunt scored 5 points in both games as South Dakota got the double over Denver in their Summit League openers.

In Division II action ex-Canterbury Rams wing Ben Carlile-Smith scored with his first shot in NCAA basketball. He only took one shot, a three, as Colorado Christian fell 82-78 against Adams State. 

Hawkes Bay native Wilfred Dickson scored 16 points in two consecutive games as South Dakota School of Mines won a thriller against Fort Lewis but suffered a loss two days later. The Hardrockers won 84-79 in overtime to beat Fort Lewis but went down 75-64 to Western Colorado. The Hardrockers are 3-4 in the Rocky Mountain Conference.

Dallas Baptist University are off to 4-0 start in the Lone Star Conference, their latest success a 99-62 drubbing of Cameron University. Will Heather posted 8 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and a block, the win lifting DBU to #21 on the Division II rankings.

Finn McClure posted a team high 7 assists to accompany a dozen points as Milligan University eased past St Andrews 95-87 to improve to 5-3 in the Appalachian Athletic Conference.

Leger-Walker’s and Mennenga to the fore as we bid farewell to 2020

In American college basketball the curtain came down on 2020 with Charlisse Leger-Walker and Sam Mennenga again grabbing the headlines from a Kiwi perspective.

Washington State University guard Charlisse was named Pac-12 Conference Freshman of the Week, for the second time in a month, after her 20 points against No 8 ranked Oregon. It ranks as the most points scored against Oregon this season.

Across the five games WSU have played this season CL-W has averaged 18.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.6 steals per game.

Whilst Charlisse has been attracting all the headlines sister Krystal has also been highly productive for the Cougars.

She has averaged 7.0 points (making 6 from 12 3PG), 4.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists across the five games. 

Tara Manumaleuga scored 9 points for highly ranked Arizona Wildcats in their dominant 96-42 win against Idaho. 

Manumaleuga, who played for NZ at the 2017 U17 FIBA World Cup, knocked down 3 from 4 three-points attempts for the Wildcats that are ranked #6 in NCAA Division I Women’s basketball.

St Mary’s College, California fell to a 78-70 overtime loss to Pacific in their West Coast Conference (WCC) opener.

Jade Kirisome scored 11 points (3/6 3PG) and Tayla Dalton nabbed a couple of points and 3 rebounds in the defeat.

Also in WCC play BYU made it two-from-two with a comfortable 76-50 victory against Santa Clara. Tegan Graham tallied 8 points and two assists with Kaylee Smiler making 3 points and 2 dimes.

Portland University Pilots joined BYU at the top of the WCC ladder with a 2-0 record after a hard fought 58-53 win at Loyola Marymount. Emme Shearer scored 4 points for the Pilots.

Former Rotorua Girls High standout Pareunuora Pene knocked down her only shot – a three – as Tennessee Chattanooga beat Northern Alabama 77-64. Chattanooga are a useful 5-4 ahead of Southern Conference play.

The best men’s performance belonged to freshman forward Sam Mennenga. The former Westlake big-man added 6 rebounds to 13 points as Davidson went down 80-74 to Richmond in Atlantic-10 Conference action.

Colorado State defeated Fresno State 75-53 and 81-59 in their Mountain West Conference double-header. James Moors totaled a more than useful 13 points (6/10FG), 11 rebounds, 5 assists, a pair of blocks and 2 steals in 43 minutes of action across the two games. 

7 points and 4 rebounds for Dan Fotu as St Mary’s ended the year on a winning note defeating Colorado State 63-45 in a non-conference game.

Thomas Webley had 6 rebounds and a couple of points as University of Hartford suffered a narrow 53-51 loss to New Hampshire – Hartford now 2-2 in American East Conference play.

In NCAA Division II play former Napier Boys High guard Will Dickson has had a couple of good outings for South Dakota School of Mines. Dickson scored 18 points followed by 15 as the aptly named Hardrockers nabbed a win and a loss in Rocky Mountain Conference play.

Plenty of action to look forward to this week with multiple games scheduled for January 2.