Outstanding performances from Jillian Harmon in Europe, Micaela Cocks in Australia and Kalani Purcell, Josie Stockill and Tessa Boagni in the States highlighted Tall Ferns efforts overseas in the past week.
Jillian Harmon once again led the Le Mura Lucca scoring with 22 points as it won a tight one, 75-68, against Unbertide (6-8) in the Italian SerieA. The Tall Ferns forward produced an and one play to give Lucca the lead in the final two minutes after they had trailed 56-53 at three-quarter time.
Lucca has an equal share of top spot on the ladder with an impressive 13-1 record.
Perth Lynx (12-6) retained its spot at the top of the Australian WNBL ladder despite losing one of its two road games this week.
On Thursday the Lynx went down 83-73 at Sydney University Flames. However on Saturday they bounced back against bottom of the table Canberra Capitals, recording a comprehensive 89-63 victory.
Tall Ferns guard Toni Edmondson played strong minutes off the bench in both encounters recording 8 points (2/4 3PG) against Sydney and 5 points (2/5FG) against Canberra.
Perth finished bottom of the WNBL table last season but since being taken over by the Perth Wildcats NBL franchise at the start of this campaign have enjoyed a massive change of fortune. When asked how she was enjoying the season Edmondson said, “I’ve really enjoyed it. I enjoy the professionalism being a full time basketballer – it’s really exciting. I enjoy coming to work every day and trying to get better.”
Micaela Cocks played all but 6 minutes for Townsville Fire (11-6) on Saturday night as they surprisingly suffered a home defeat at the hands of the Shane Heal coached South East Queensland Stars, 90-80.
Cocks scored 15 points and added a team high 6 assists but her efforts were to no avail as the Fire was outscored 27-17 in the last period to suffer a fourth home loss of the campaign.
The WNBL now takes a two-week break to allow the Australian Opals squad to attend a pre Olympics tournament in Rio.
There was plenty of action in American College games involving our Tall Ferns.
In a game that featured nine lead changes and four ties, Seattle University Seahawks made key stops and free throws down the stretch to earn a 69-63 win over UMKC in their Western Athletic Conference home opener on Thursday.
Jacinta Beckley made an important contribution off the bench for Seattle nailing an important triple on her way to 7 points (2/4FG) and 3 rebounds.
Also on Thursday Cal State Univ Northridge Matadors lost 75-52 to UC Davis in both teams’ 2016 Big West Conference opener. Cantabrian Tessa Boagni scored a game-high 20 points for the Matadors, finishing 8-of-13 from the field.
UC Davis jumped out to a 9-0 advantage and led 24-8 after the first period, a lead that proved to be game winning.
Boagni scored 16 of her 20 points in the second half and added three rebounds a block and one steal in 27 minutes. For the season, she is averaging a team-high 12.4 points per game on 48.5 percent shooting.
In a third game on Thursday BYU Provo Cougars topped Santa Clara 68-63 in its fourth conference game of the season.
Kalani Purcell totaled 17 points and a game-high 12 boards in compiling her sixth double-double of the year. Purcell played all 40 minutes for the third time this year as she also added 2 blocks and 3 steals.
BYU completed its two-game road trip in the Bay Area with a 66–57 win over San Francisco on Saturday and improve to a 4-1 record in West Coast Conference games. Purcell again played a major hand recording a career high 9 assists to compliment 6 points and 4 rebounds.
Purcell’s performances earned her the West Coast Conference Player of the Week Award.
On Friday Univ of Cal, Berkley bounced back after dropping its first two Pac-12 games, the No. 21ranked Golden Bears defeated Colorado 64-35 in their conference home opener. Penina Davidson fouled out in 19 minutes with 2 points (1/2FG) and a pair of rebounds to her name.
Hot off the press Cal was defeated 84-79 at home by Utah on Sunday (US time) with Davidson coming off the bench with a 7 points (2/5FG, 2/2FT) and 2 rebounds contribution. The Bears are now 1-3 in conference action.
Josie Stockill’s third double-double of the season wasn’t quite enough to prevent Navy from posting a 51-41 Patriot League win over Colgate University on Saturday.
Stockill scored 10 points and grabbed 11 boards. It was her third twin-figure rebounding game in the last four outings and pushed her collegiate total past the 500 mark to 508. The nation’s leading shot-blocker also added three in this game and now has 60 for the season and 196 for her career.