Micaela Cocks – Grand Final MVP

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Micaela Cocks -WNBL Grand Final MVP

Micaela Cocks has achieved something very few New Zealand basketball players have achieved in overseas competition, men or women. Not only did she win a back-to-back Australian WNBL championship with Townsville Fire but she also walked away with the Grand Final MVP award.

Townsville entered game two of the best of three WNBL Grand Final series with a 1-0 advantage courtesy of a 73-57 victory in Perth last weekend and secured the title with an 80-70 triumph.

The former North Harbour point guard scored 13 points at a terrific clip – 4 from 7 shots made including all three attempts from beyond the arc – and added 3 rebounds and 3 assists. These numbers, added to her 15 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists in the first game earned Cocks the Rachel Sporn medal much to her surprise.

“It feels good to get this award but I wasn’t expecting it at all and I just went into the games trying to focus on my defence. It feels amazing and especially to be back-to-back champions, it’s hard thing to do and we did it,” she said

Game two was a carbon copy of the first as the Lynx entered the final quarter of the game holding a narrow lead – 57-61 in this one – but struggled to score against the lock down defence employed by the defending champions. In game one Perth was outscored 28-7 in the final period and in game two it was 23-9 as Townsville made the most of home court advantage to secure a second championship in as many years.

Fellow international Chevannah Paalvast didn’t get on the court for Townsville in game two whilst Toni Edmondson battled hard for Perth Lynx finishing with three points, two points and four assists.

US College – Women

Kalani Purcell tasted her first NCAA Tournament action on Sunday but Brigham Young University-Provo Cougars fell in the first round going out 78-69 to Missouri.

Trailing 60-49 at three quarter time the Cougars made a terrific effort in the fourth quarter getting within two points 66-64 with 2:19 to play. Unfortunately that was as close as it got for BYU as Missouri hung on to advance to round two.

As she has been all season Purcell was at he heart of the BYU effort reeling off yet another impressive stats line of 19 points (7/10FG), 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals.

Europe – Women

Le Mura Lucca (22-2) still hold on to top spot in the Italian Serie A despite losing 68-66 to second on the table Familia Schio (20-3) on Sunday. Lucca’s twelve game winning streak was ended by their nearest rivals in a tight and absorbing contest. The scores were tied at 66 apiece but a controversial turnover call allowed Schio possession with 20 seconds on the clock. The defending champions made the go ahead basket with just 6 seconds to play and held on to gain a valuable away win to solidify their second place on the standings. 

 Tall Fern Jillian Harmon scored 16 points for Lucca.

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