There were a number of five star performances from our Kiwis in college this week but top billing belongs jointly to Jacinta Beckley and Stella Beck. Beckley and Beck sounds like it could be the company name of a law firm and the two certainly bossed the games they were involved in at the weekend.
Beck was named West Coast Conference Player of the week after averaging 27.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists while shooting 85% from the field across the two games played by St Mary’s Gaels last week.
In the top of the table Conference clash on Thursday Gonzaga proved too good for St Mary’s Gaels despite 23 points from Beck. The Gaels bounced back on Saturday beating Pacific 96-88 with Beck piling in a career best 31 points. Those 31 points were gathered via some impressive shooting percentages – 10/12FG (83%) and 9/11FT (81%). For good measure the former Hutt Valley star added 7 rebounds, 7 assists.
The Gaels are now 6-2 in conference games.
Beckley was in equally impressive form scoring a career high 25 points (9/19FG, 6/8FT) as Seattle Redhawks beat New Mexico State 69-59. That was followed by 17 points and 6 rebounds as Seattle beat Texas Rio Grande Valley 64-56 for a 4-1 record in the Western Athletic Conference and a tie for top spot on the conference ladder.
Brooke Blair ran up her fourth twenty points effort of the season as Idaho State Bengals accounted for Portland State 88-59. Blair had a fine all-round game adding a game high 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals. Fourty-eight hours later the Bengals swept their road double header with an 85-71 win at Sacramento State. Once again Blair filled the stats sheet with 11 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists a block and a steal.
Blair sits tenth amongst the NCAA Division 1 three-point shooters this season and enhanced that standing with five from ten from beyond the arc across the two games. The Bengals are now 3-3 in the Big Sky Conference.
For the men 19 points from former St Pat’s guard Izayah Le’afa was exceptional even if Sacramento State Hornets did fall 80-64 at Weber State. Le’afa converted five of his six three point efforts and also added 4 rebounds and 4 assists.
Two days later Le’afa again scored in double figures for the ninth time in the last thirteen games – he scored 17 points, including 3 from 7 from beyond the arc, but once again the Hornets went down losing 71-65 to Idaho State and now 2-5 in Big Sky Conference games.
Jack Salt and the Virginia Cavaliers are travelling nicely recording a seventh straight Atlantic Coast Conference win at Wake Forrest. Salt had 4 rebounds; a couple of points and a block in a solid 59-47 win for the Cavaliers. With an overall 18-1 record they are in elite company ranked No 2 in NCAA Division 1 Men’s basketball.
Sam Timmins added a couple of points to 8 rebounds (four offensive boards) and a block as Washington Huskies beat Colorado 72-62 to improve to 4-3 in Pac 12 play.
To the women again and a nice double of 8 points and 8 rebounds from Tessa Boagni helped Cal State Northridge Matadors to a comfortable 65-41 victory over Cal State Fullerton. The win gives the Matadors a 2-2 record in the big West Conference.
After four weeks absence recovering from a hand injury Mary Goulding scored 7 points and amassed 13 rebounds on her return to the Fordham Rams lineup. Zara Jillings also played her part in the low scoring 43-38 win at Richmond posting a team high 3 assists, 5 rebounds, 2 points and a block.
Fordham are 6-1 in Atlantic 10 Conference play.
Penina Davidson secured 10 rebounds and added 4 points and a block as Cal Berkeley scored an important road win with a 62-59 win at USC to move to 5-3 in Pac-12 play. Averaging 7.4 rebounds per game it was Davidson’s fourth double figure rebounding effort of the season.
In an unusual turn of events the Fresno State fixture against Air Force was cancelled leaving Katelin Noyer and her teammates without a game on Saturday. The fixture was cancelled due to the US government shutdown of services effecting thousands of federal workers including Air Force personnel.