Disappointment for Kiwis in college conference tournaments.


stella beckIt wasn’t a particularly good day for the kiwis involved in conference tournaments on Saturday (NZ time).

Having come from behind to beat Canisius 61-58 yesterday Monmouth University Hawks found the going much tougher on day two of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. The No 9 ranked Hawks were outclassed 83-44 by top seed Quinnipiac.

Senior guard Rhaiah-Spooner-Knight top scored with 11 points, the only Hawk in double figures. She also added 5 rebounds, 2 assists a block and a steal in 31 minutes of action.

It was the same story in the Pac 12 Conference Tournament where Penina Davidson and 5th seeded Cal Berkeley Golden Bears were defeated on the second day. Cal went down 77-74 to UCLA Bruins in their quarter-final match up. Davidson had a quiet night finishing with just 4 points.

At the West Coast Conference Tournament in Las Vegas seven Kiwis were involved with six different teams at the start but that number has dwindled to just two and neither took the court as their teams progressed

In the women’s tournament No 7 Pacific Tigers overturned No 2 St Mary’s Gaels in the quarter-finals winning 77-73 but Junior guard Tylah King didn’t take the court for Pacific.

Stella Beck was once again in good touch finishing with 19 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks for the Gaels but coughing up 29 rebounds cost St Mary’s the game.

Beck was philosophical in defeat, “I think we were very inconsistent. We went out for a portion and they came back. They finally tipped us over the edge. We turned the ball over and they got some good shots.

“I think the best part about the season was the group of girls. We are so close and such good friends. It’s been fun when we have been playing well,” she added

In the men’s tournament former New Plymouth Boys High forward Harrison Meads didn’t see any court time for Pepperdine as they proved too good for Santa Clara winning 85-69. Pepperdine will next play the highly fancied St Mary’s outfit who next year will add Dan Fotu and Quinn Clinton to their roster.

It was a disappointing end to the season for Fordham University Rams. With their trio of Kiwis the No 3 ranked Rams negotiated the first round of the Atlantic 10 Conference play-offs with a comfortable 75-53 win against Rhode Island but were upset 52-49 by No 6 St Joseph’s in the quarter-finals. All three Kiwis made a contribution against Rhode Island with Cantabrian Mary Goulding (7 points, 6 rebounds and a career high 4 steals) leading the way. She was ably assisted by Harbour’s Zara Jillings (5 rebounds and 5 assists) and Kendell Heremaia (3 points and 3 rebounds).

The three were largely kept quiet by St Joe’s although Goulding did post 8 points.

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