Like the Tall Blacks in college the USA based Tall Ferns have begun conference play and it’s been a tale of mixed fortunes in the opening round.
Penina Davidson and University of California Bears began Pac-12 action with a bang. Davidson had a career high 14 rebounds, including 8 off the offensive glass, as Cal won 74-64 at Arizona for a 13th straight win. The former Rangitoto College forward also landed 12 points and muscled 2 blocks.
Also quick out the blocks were St Mary’s Gaels as they got their West Coast Conference programme off to the best possible start. Stella Beck was a huge contributor scoring a game high 18 points at a very accomplished 75% (6 from 8) from the field as the Gaels beat Loyola Marymount 74-59.
Also in the West Coast Conference Kalani Purcell hoovered up a game high 15 rebounds but Brigham Young Cougars were run down at Santa Clara 64-63. BYU led most the game but could only manage 10 points in the final frame. Purcell, who played all 40 minutes, also had 15 points but will be disappointed to have given up 9 turnovers.
Shalae Salmon had her best game of the season for BYU nabbing 10 points (5/7FG), 3 boards, 2 assists, 2 blocks and a steal.
Mate v Mate
In a non-conference game Tessa Boagni and Jacinta Beckley found themselves in opposition as Beckley’s Seattle University Redhawks entertained Cal State Northridge Matadors on Friday. Both players had double figure outings with Boagni recording a double double of 15 points and 11 rebounds (plus 3 blocks) and Beckley snaring 5 steals to go with a career high 16 points.
The pair were prominent in the closing minutes – Beckley landed a three to tie the game up, 61 apiece, with 70 seconds to play. However Boagni bookended that effort with a pair of crucial blocks and also landed a late free throw as Cal State edged home 68-64.
Toni Edmondson celebrated her 200th WNBL game in Perth but it wasn’t a night to remember for the Cantabrian, as the Lynx were outclassed 93-69 by Sydney Flames. Edmondson claimed 3 rebounds and 3 steals to go with 4 points as Perth remain 4th on the ladder with a 9-6 record.
It has been a struggle all season for Adelaide Lighting as they prop up the WNBL with a 0-15 record. The latest loss was against Sydney University Flames going down 89-72 on Thursday. Jordan Hunter did have the satisfaction of earning a starting spot in the Flames line-up and responded with a season high 9 points (4/8FG) to go with 4 assists and 2 steals.