Pre-Xmas wrap on Tall Ferns and Tall Blacks in Div 1 colleges

Jack Salt

As we near Xmas the American College basketball season is still in full swing and a number of Kiwi internationals have produced impressive numbers of late.

Virginia Cavaliers are ranked a lofty 13th in the nation after a conclusive 78-47 win against Savannah State. Jack Salt was perfect from the field converting all four scoring attempts and added two from four from the charity stripe – eventually finishing with 10 points, 5 rebounds and 3 blocks as Virginia now boast a 10-1 record.

Sam Timmins, but for missing 6 of 9 free throws, would have had a double-double in Washington Huskies narrow 80-70 win at Loyola Marymount. The Tall Blacks centre came up with 9 points and 11 rebounds. This was followed a couple of days later by a 106-55 frying of Bethune-Cookman with Timmins registering game high blocks (3) and rebounds (7) in the rout.

Matt Freeman and the Oklahoma Sooners are 9-1 for the season after defeating Northwestern State 105-68. Freeman had 6 points (2/3 3PG), 3 rebounds and 2 blocks in a game in which the Sooners outstanding Freshman guard Trae Young dished a record 22 assists.

It’s rather unusual to find a point guard leading the rebounding count but that’s what Izayah Le’afa accomplished as Sacramento State Hornets beat CSUN 66-61. Le’afa finished just shy of a double-double registering 9 boards and 10 points as the Hornets registered their fourth win of the year.

It’s been a tough schedule recently for Isaac Letoa and his Dartmouth teammates. Playing their fifth consecutive game on the road the Big Green were defeated 97-87 at Notre Dame – Letoa played 8 minutes dishing a brace of assists and grabbing a rebound.

And the Tall Ferns …………..

Stella Beck scored 16 points as St Mary’s Gaels beat Eastern Washington. The former Hutt Valley guard also snared 6 rebounds as the Gaels improve their record this season to 7-3.

Jacinta Beckley came up with a game high 4 steals in addition to 9 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists but Seattle Redhawks slipped up against Pacific going down 85-73.

Brooke Blair scored 7 points and snared a couple of steals as Idaho State Bengals beat Utah Valley 70-58 on the road for their seventh win of the season.

The Bengals have a ten day break before they open Big Sky Conference play on December 28th and Blair will take the opportunity to return to Auckland for a few days ahead of an intense second half of the season.

Tessa Boagni accumulated a game high 21 points even though, due to foul trouble, she only played 19 minutes as California State Northridge Matadors defeated Northern Arizona. The Matadors centre was a perfect 3 from 3 from beyond the arc.

Penina Davidson had 9 points and 8 rebounds as Cal Berkeley Golden Bears defeated BYU 70-45 on Saturday.

For BYU 2016 NZ Select representative Shalae Salmon scored 8 points (4/5FG) and captured 6 rebounds.

Krystal Leger-Walker dished 8 assists and chipped in with 5 points as Northern Colorado Bears bit Missouri-Kansas 88-73.

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