Matt Freeman and Sam Waardenburg are the latest of the New Zealand men playing NCAA Division 1 hoops to make an impact.
On Wednesday University of Miami swingman Sam Waardenburg enjoyed a career night despite the Hurricanes going down 89-75 against Penn at the Palestra. Waardenburg, in his second season with the Hurricanes, scored 14 points on 5 from 7 shooting that included 2 from 3 from beyond the arc. In addition to career best points it was significant he also played a career high 37 minutes.
Matt Freeman enjoyed a successful night as Oklahoma University Sooners beat Notre Dame Fighting Irish 85-80.
Freeman chose the historic Madison Square Garden to contribute 11 points (3/6 3PG), 4 rebounds and 2 blocks as his perimeter shooting and strong interior defence helped the Sooners to the win in the first ever meeting between the two famous basketball institutions.
Earlier in the week Dan Fotu and Jack Salt produced standout performances.
Fotu is earning more and more minutes in his freshman season at St Mary’s, California. Fotu rewarded coach Randy Bennett for displaying confidence in him by putting together a perfect shooting display as the Gaels stunned California Golden Bears winning 84-71. Fotu’s numbers were impressive knocking down 4 from 4 threes, his only two-pointer and both of his free throws.
Jack Salt scored a career high 12 points on 6 from 7 shooting and added a team high 7 rebounds as No 4 Virginia Cavaliers beat No 24 Maryland 76-71.
Salt followed that up with 6 points and 4 rebounds as Virginia swept Morgan State 83-45. Virginia now 8-0 for the season.
Sacramento States Hornets (3-1) dropped its first game of the season going down 75-58 at UC Santa Barbara. Former Tall Blacks point guard Izayah Le’afa was one of three Hornets in double figures finishing with 11 points (3/7 3PG), 5 rebounds and 3 assists. He followed that with 9 points and 3 steals in the 88-68 win at Cal State Northridge.
Freshman Tobias Cameron secured 3 rebounds to accompany 5 points (2/2FG) as Abilene Christian won their seventh straight game, inflicting pain on Howard Payne University with a 90-53 win.
Another freshman Callum McRae produced 8 points in 15 minutes for Cal Riverside but the Highlanders were toppled 82-73 by Valparaiso.