Kiwis in college busy over Thanksgiving weekend


Last weekend may have been Thanksgiving in the States but there was little time for rest for our Kiwi college players.

Matt Freeman and Jack Salt headed to the Bahamas for the 8-team Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament over the holiday period at Paradise Island. 

It was anything but a vacation playing three games in three days but hopefully Jack and the Virginia Cavaliers got to sample some of the resort delights after beating Wiconsin 53-46 in the final.

Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett was full of praise for his captain. 

“Jack was a warrior, playing position and playing hard. He means a lot for our programme, statistically he may not show it but it was a special performance.”

High praise for a man who finished with just 2 points, 5 rebounds, a block and a steal but as Bennett said the game is more than just about statistics.

The two didn’t get to play against each other as they were on opposite sides of the draw but Freeman and the Oklahoma Sooners clinched third spot after a 65-54 win against Dayton – Matt knocking down his only shot for three points and a pair of rebounds.

Also attending a famed location were St Mary’s College Gaels taking part in the MGM Resorts Main Event in Las Vegas. Despite going down 80-63 to Utah State Dan Fotu scored 11 points and also added three rebounds including two at the offensive end.

In their other game in Vegas Fotu came up with 2 points, 5 rebounds and an assist as the Gaels lost 61-57 to Mississippi State.

At the Wooden Legacy Tournament Miami Hurricanes fell agonisingly short in the championship game going down 83-81 to Seton Hall on Sunday night with Sam Waardenburg producing a quintet of points and rebounds.

Earlier in the tournament Waardenbutg scored 10 points as the Hurricanes cruised past La Salle 85-49.

Isaac Letoa and Dartmouth Big Green are headed across the Atlantic to Ireland where they will play in the Belfast Classic beginning on Thursday.

Taki Fahrensohn scored a season best 7 points as Portland Horned Frogs eased to a comfortable 77-57 win against Lewis and Clark.

In a Kiwi v Kiwi match-up it was Tobias Cameron and Abilene Christian that got the better of Callum McRae and University of California Riverside winning a sixth straight game 60-48.

However in terms of personal productivity the outcome favoured McCrae. The former Palmerston North Boys High centre had 10 points, on 5 from 6 from the field, plus 6 rebounds with Cameron getting just a minute of court time. 

Sacramento States Hornets beat Cal State Fullerton 87-82 in overtime for a third consecutive win with Izayah Le’afa scoring 14 points. The Hutt Valley native obviously has the green light to shoot the three-ball launching no fewer than 14 attempts in the contest. He landed four of those and also provided 3 assists to go with 5 rebounds.

Jackson Stent was part of an historic occasion as Houston Baptist University defeated Wake Forrest 93-91 in overtime – the first time in programme history that HBU had beaten an Atlantic Coast Conference member. For the second game running Stent was a perfect 2 from 2 from the field – both triples.

Sam Timmins may lay claim to one of the qickest accumulation of fouls in college basketball this season The Kiwi centre fouled out in just seven minutes as Washington Huskies were pipped 68-66 by Minnesotta – he managed a pair of rebounds and two points in that time.

Look out for the women’s college wrap being posted tomorrow.

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