In a first for New Zealand basketball five Kiwi players featured in the same NCAA Division 1 basketball game as Fordham University Rams beat University of Northern Colorado Bears, that endured a horror shooting night, 48-33 in a low scoring non-conference game.
The hosts featured three Kiwis in their line up led by Cantabrian forward Mary Goulding. They also have the freshman pair of Kendell Heremaia and Zara Jillings on their roster.
Northern Colorado entered the fixture boasting a 4-1 record with sophmore guard Krystal Leger-Walker and freshman guard Tiarna Clarke in their lineup but had a shooting night to forget making just one of 26 three point attempts – that single triple make from Leger-Walker in the final two minutes of the game.
Played on the Rams home court in the Bronx, New York, the hosts led by as many as nine points in the first half but had to settle for just a 21-18 advantage at the interval – both teams shooting around the 33% mark from the field.
UNC closed to within two points (22-20) early in the second half but a 13 – 1 run from Fordham including an inside bucket from Goulding and a corner three from Jillings moved them to a 35-21 lead.
All three Kiwis were on the board for Fordham when Heremaia converted a left-handed drive to take the Rams to a formidable 40-23 three-quarter time advantage.
Little was going right for UNC and a late rally failed to materialize as Fordham eased to a second regular season win of the season and relegated the Bears to its second lowest score in programme history.
All five Kiwis enjoyed sizeable court time putting up the following numbers:
Fordham Rams 48
Goulding – 22 minutes, 6 points, 7 rebounds
Jillings – 24 mins, 5 pts, 2 rebs, 1 assist, I steal
Heremaia – 20 mins, 2 pts, 7 rebs, 3 assists
Northern Colorado Bears 33
Leger-Walker – 35 mins, 3 pts, 4 rebs, 2 assists, 1 steal
Clarke – 0 pts, 2 rebs, 1 assist