Tessa Boagni and Jack Salt headline strong Kiwi performances in college basketball.


A pair of double-doubles, a career best, and performing in front of the largest crowd for a college basketball game this season are amongst the highlights of another action packed week in the States.

Tessa Boagni helped Cal State Northridge Matadors spring a surprise by ending UC Davis’ 18 game Big West Conference unbeaten run.

The Matadors (6-3) won 75-71 in overtime with Boagni posting her 16th career double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds plus 3 steals.

 Stella Beck led all scorers with 19 points (8/10FG) as St Mary’s Gaels, after two straight losses, got back in the winners circle with a decisive 73-59 win at San Francisco. This was followed by a 66-57 win against San Diego – Beck prominent again with 15 points, 8 rebounds and 3 steals. The two wins improve the Gaels to 8-4 in the West Coast Conference.

Seattle Redhawks claimed a 77-75 win against Utah Valley with the last shot of the game to move to 5-2 in the Western Athletic Conference. Senior guard Jacinta Beckley claimed 11 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and a brace of steals in the winning effort.


2016 Junior Tall Fern McKenna Dale posted 5 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists and a block as Brown University fell 88-55 to Ivy League champions Penn. The Bears are 1-5 in League play.

A fifth double-double of the season from Mary Goulding was not enough to get Fordham Rams the win as they were defeated 91-85 in a double overtime thriller at St Louis. The Cantabrian finished with a stats stuffing line of 18 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and a block. Also prominent, with 8 points and 5 rebounds, was 2017 Tall Fern Zara Jillings. Goulding scored 12 points and Jillings four as Fordham bounced back with a 76-64 win against Rhode Island to move to 9-2 in Atlantic 10 play.

Also filling the stats line was Northern Colorado Bears guard Krystal Leger-Walker. The Bears improved to 8-3 in the Big Sky Conference after a 78-63 win at Montana State with Leger-Walker contributing 5 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, a steal and a block for the Bears. Next up for Leger-Walker and the Bears is a home encounter with Brooke Blair and Idaho State Bengals.

In other good news for women’s basketball the Canterbury pair of Aimee Book and Esra McGoldrick will be heading to the States later this year on NCAA Division 1 basketball scholarships. 2016 Junior Tall Fern McGoldrick has committed to North Carolina State and will link up with the Wolfpack Women later in the year.

McGoldrick demonstrated her Division 1 potential with a strong performance for the New Zealand Premier team against the University of California Berkeley at North Shore Events Centre in August last year. The Canterbury forward scored 9 points and added 6 rebounds as the NZ Premier team went down 77-69.

McGoldrick joins a high profile programme with the Wolfpack currently ranked 23rd in the Associated Press Poll issued on Monday on the back of a seven game winning streak in the strong Atlantic Coast Conference.

Book, daughter of former Tall Black Ed Book, is originally from Nelson but attended Middleton Grange School and played for Canterbury in 2017.

The shooting guard is heading to California State University Fullerton in June. CSU play in the Big West Conference the same conference as Cal State Northridge where former Canterbury standout Tessa Boagni is in her senior year.

Known as the Titans CSU are struggling a little this year, currently 7-14 overall but 2-6 in conference play.

The pair join the likes of Amy West (Liberty University) and Grace Vaofusi (University of Northern Colorado) committed to Division 1 basketball in 2018.

And to the men………..

From a Harbour rep player to playing in front of 27,083 fans – the rise of former Westlake standout Jack Salt continues.

In front of the largest crowd to watch a college basketball game this season, Salt and the Virginia Cavaliers emphasized their No 2 ranking in NCAA Division 1 with a 59-44 road win at the Carrier Dome against Syracuse on Saturday.

Salt chipped in with 6 points (3/3FG) and 6 rebounds with the Cavs now boasting an 11-0 record atop the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Also posting a big win were Sam Timmins and Washington Huskies as they defeated No 13 ranked Arizona 78-75 on the buzzer. Timmins posted 4 points and a team equal high 7 rebounds as the Huskies move to third spot on the Pac 12 Conference ladder with a 7-3 record.

Izayah Le’afa emerged with a career best 5 steals to go with 5 assists and a couple of points as Sacramento State Hornets (3-6 in Big Sky Conference) fell 74-54 to Eastern Washington. Le’afa sits third on the BSC assists list averaging 3.7 dimes per outing.

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