Spooner-Knight stars as Davidson and King also advance in conference championships


Some  US college basketball Conference Tournaments have already begun and the lowdown will keep and eye on a number of those that involve Kiwis.

Monmouth University Hawks came from behind to beat Canisius 61-58 to advance to a showdown tomorrow with number 1 seed Quinnipiac in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.

Senior guard Rhaiah-Spooner-Knight led all scorers with 22 points (10/18FG) for Monmouth. “I’m just starting to play with more confidence, and it’s coming at the right time. I love that my team trusts me to make those types of plays when it comes down to it,” said the former Waikato standout. Spooner-Knight leads the Hawks scoring this season averaging 11.4 points per game.

It’s also tournament time in the Pac 12 Conference where Penina Davidson and 5th seeded Cal Berkeley Golden Bears were made to struggle against lowly Washington before eventually winning 71-68. Cal will take on No 4 ranked UCLA Bruins tomorrow. Davidson finished with 7 points (3/4FG), 5 rebounds and 2 assists against Washington.

The West Coast Conference Tournament is underway at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas with Kiwis involved with six different teams although Taki Fahrensohn is red shirting at Portland and is therefore only with the Pilots in a supporting role.

In the women’s tournament No 9 Santa Clara bowed out on the opening day going down 72-63 to No 8 Pepperdine. 2014 Tall Fern Dru Toleafoa finished with 5 points (2/5FG) and 3 rebounds for Santa Clara.

In another first round game junior guard Tylah King registered a rebound and an assist as No 7 ranked Pacific ousted Portland 85-60 and now face Stella Beck and St Mary’s Gaels in the quarter-finals.

It wasn’t such good news for Shalae Salmon with No 3 ranked BYU ousted 61-56 by lower ranked San Diego. Salmon scored 2 points and added a single rebound, block and steal.

Back on the men’s side former New Plymouth Boys High forward Harrison Meads will suit for Pepperdine when they take on Santa Clara.

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