In addition to the four Kiwis, Penina Davidson, Jack Salt, Tai Wynyard and Sam Waardenburg, participating in ‘The Big Dance’ three Tall Ferns will be playing in the 2017 Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT). The tournament, once more prestigious than NCAA Division 1 tournament is competed for at the same time.
Jacinta Beckley (University of Seattle Redhawks)
Disappointingly Beckley fractured her hand in a game in early February and has been unable to suit up for Seattle in Western Athletic Conference games since. Beckley has had a strong season for Seattle, the fourth highest scorer on the team has averaged 8.0 points per game. She hopes to be fit for the opening round of the WNIT when the Redhawks visit Wyoming.
Stella Beck (St Mary’s University Gaels)
After losing to Gonzaga in the West Coast Conference final last week Saint Mary’s will make its eighth straight postseason appearance beginning Friday as the Gaels travel to Colorado State for a first round matchup.
Beck in her penultimate year at St Mary’s has had an outstanding season and was named in the 2017 All- Academic West Coast Conference first team.
Beck leads Saint Mary’s in scoring at 13.2 points per game, posting double-figure scoring in 23 of 30 games played. She also leads the team in assists (3.2 per game) and steals (1.6 per game).
The Gaels (20-12) won 20 games for the sixth consecutive year in 2016-17 while finishing among the top-three in the West Coast Conference for the fourth time in the last five years.
Kalani Purcell (Brigham Young University Provos Cougars)
Purcell is about to bring the curtain down on an outstanding two-year career at BYU.
She has racked up a colossal 16 double doubles this season in 31 games.
The power forward is averaging a double double with 12.9 points and a team- and league -high 10.6 boards per game. She also leads the Gaels in assists (4.9 per game) and blocks (1.3 per game).
Purcell was named this year’s West Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Year and picked up her second-straight WCC Women’s Basketball All-First Team honour.
The BYU Cougars (20-11) will host the Cougars of Washington State on Friday.