There were career highs and season bests as a number of Tall Ferns excelled in college action last week.
University of California Berkley snapped a three game losing streak with a 65-53 victory at Colorado on Saturday. Penina Davidson was highly influential for the Bears snaring 8 rebounds and scoring 8 points as well as swatting a career high 6 blocks.
Unfortunately the Bears went down 63-57 at Utah on Sunday – Davidson had another 8 rebounds plus 5 points in that one. The Bears are now 2-4 in Pac-12 Conference play.
She gobbled up 19 rebounds and added 10 points and 4 assists but it wasn’t enough to secure the win as Kalani Purcell and BYU Cougars fell 70-63 at San Francisco on Friday. They bounced back on Sunday to defeat San Diego 81-63 with Purcell notching 15pts, 6 rebounds and 5 assists. BYU are now 4-2 in West Coast Conference play.
Also in the West Coast Conference St Mary’s Gaels are 3-3 after a win and a loss this week. Stella Beck, with a season high 19 points, plus 4 rebounds and 6 assists, helped the Gaels down Portland 92-76 on Friday. Beck looked set to eclipse that mark on Sunday as she scored 18 first half points against Gonzaga. Unfortunately she and the Gaels faded after the interval as they went down 79-75. The Hutt Valley native didn’t add to her opening half points tally but did amass 9 rebounds to come within a whisker of a double double.
In a rich vein of form at the moment Jacinta Beckley recorded 13p/3r/1a/1b/1st as Seattle University Redhawks defeated University of Missouri-Kansas City 75-65 on Friday. Seattle moved to 3-0 in Western Athletic Conference play after beating Chicago State 64-51 on Sunday. Beckley went 7 from 9 in accumulating 15 points.
Krystal Leger-Walker only had 4 points as Northern Colorado Bears mauled Montana 65-46 on Friday but the combo guard was huge in general court play. She led the game in both assists (8) and steals (4) as the Bears won a sixth straight game and their fifth in Big Sky Conference fixtures.
Tessa Boagni had 7 points, 6 rebounds and a pair of blocks as Cal State Northridge slipped to 1-3 in the Big West Conference after an 81-65 loss at UC Davis.
Townsville Fire couldn’t mark Suzy Batkovich’s 300th WNBL appearance with a win. They went down 73-67 at Canberra Capitals where Micaela Cocks played a strong hand for the Fire with 8 points, 4 assists and 2 steals.
Le Mura Lucca overcame a one point three-quarter time deficit to defeat Torino 78-62 in Italian Cup quarter-final tie. Jillian Harmon was one of five Lucca players in double figures, scoring 15 points, as Lucca outscored Torino 24-13 in the fourth.
Tall Ferns guard Erin Rooney has signed with Polish club Artego Bydgoszcz for the second half of the Polish League season.
Rooney has battled back to fitness after undergoing knee surgery early last year. The Cantabrian picked up the knee injury playing for Calais in the French League, an injury that impacted on her ability to perform at her best for the Tall Ferns during last year’s Olympic Qualifying campaign.
Bydgoszcz are the reigning Polish League champions but currently sit seventh on the twelve team competition ladder with a 7-6 record.
Rooney’s signing takes to seven the number of Tall Ferns currently playing on professional contracts overseas joining:
Jillian Harmon – Le Mura Lucca (Italy)
Micaela Cocks and Chevannah Paalvast (both Townsville Fire)
Toni Edmondson (Perth Lynx)
Jordan Hunter (Adelaide Lightning)
Jess Bygate (Melbourne Boomers)