Three Tall Ferns will contest the Australian WNBL Major Semi-Final in Townsville next Sunday. The match up will ensure at least one Kiwi international will be appearing in the 2016 Grand final as the winning team progresses straight to the final. The losers get a second life playing the winner of the 3rd/4th play off encounter.
The Townsville Fire with Micaela Cocks and Chevannah Paalvast in their ranks will host Toni Edmondson and the Perth Lynx. East v West in Australia, Canterbury v Auckland amongst the Kiwis.
Townsville ensured top spot and back to back WNBL regular season titles with a hard fought 64-57 victory against Adelaide Lightning on Saturday.The Fire had slipped up on Friday going down 82-69 against the Lynx in Perth but made no mistake 24 hours later.
Against Perth Cocks played a game high 35 minutes for the Fire contributing 8 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists. Teammate Paalvast added three points and a rebound.
Toni Edmondson could not find her range for the Lynx shooting none from four but the Cantabrian did collect three rebounds and dish a pair of assists.
Cocks (5pts) and Paalvast (2pts) were relatively quiet against Adelaide but both will be relishing the prospect of the major semi-final on home court next weekend.
US College – Women
The US college basketball season is heading towards the sharp end of the 2015-16 campaign. The regular season has just a week or two more of games before conference tournaments get underway in early March.
Brigham Young Uni-Provo wrapped up its first ever West Coast Conference Regular Season title with two games to spare. They met second placed San Diego on Wednesday, the only team they had lost to this season, and won a tight encounter 68-60.
Once again Kalani Purcell was a major architect of the win with 13 points, 12 rebounds, 7assists and two steals as BYU stretched its unbeaten run to 15 games.
In the same conference Stella Beck is in the form of her life. Following last week’s career best 27 points Beck produced a 20 points outburst for St Mary’s Gaels as they defeated Gonzaga, 66-47, on Thursday. This was followed by a triple double threatening 11 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists as Portland was demolished 95-53 – St Mary’ move to 12-4 in conference play.
Colgate University Raiders went down 71-58 against Boston University but Josie
Stockill, who already holds the Raiders all time shot blocking record, is now just 4 points shy of 1,000 career points for the Raiders. The Raiders centre returned 10 points, 6 rebounds and 3 blocks on the night.
Seattle University Redhawks had a tough couple of games matched up against the two top teams in the Western Athletic Conference. On Thursday they gave the more fancied Univ of Texas Rio Grande Valley a run for their money before eventually going down 76-71. Former Paraparaumu College standout Jacinta Beckley notched 4 points, 3 rebounds and an assist for the Redhawks. Beckley scored 3 points on Saturday in the 66-56 against unbeaten New Mexico State.
Cal State Northridge Matadors are now 4-7 in Big Western Conference games after losing 77-66 against Cal Poly on Saturday. Forward Tess Boagni chipped in with 4 points and two rebounds in 16 minutes for the Matadors
Penina Davidson had a very handy 10pts, 3 rebs, 2 blocks, 2 steals stats line but University of California Berkley Golden Bears went down 72-66 at Utah on Friday.
Europe – Women
Tall Ferns Jillian Harmon (Le Mura Lucca, Italy) and Erin Rooney (COB Calais France) had a break this week as the major European Leagues paused to allow international games to be played.