Here is a wrap on some of the pre-Xmas action involving the best performing Kiwi men of late in NCAA Division I.
Izayah Le’afa scored a season high 15 points (6/8FG) as Sacramento State Hornets overwhelmed Division II visitors Holy Names University 81-56.
Yanni Wetzell received an early Xmas present. Accorded more court time than he has been receiving in the early games for Vanderbilt University he responded with 12 points, 5 rebounds and 2 blocks as the Commodores convincingly beat #18 Arizona State 81-65. The win improves the Vanderbilt record to 7-2.
Jack Salt dragged down a season best 9 rebounds to go with 4 points as Virginia Cavaliers defeated South Carolina 69-52. The number 5 ranked Cavaliers are unbeaten through 11 games this season.
Another Kiwi centre Callum McRae was in good form for UC Riverside making 11 points (4/5FG) and 7 rebounds as the Highlanders easily beat Life Pacific University 87-50.
St Mary’s College Gaels were defeated 78-74 by Louisiana State with Dan Fotu snaring 5 rebounds to go with 7 points. Fotu followed that with his first career start in the Gaels 85-56 win against Bucknell. He collected a game high 8 rebounds and knocked down a triple from his only attempt – Kiwi team mate Quinn Clinton also converted from beyond the arc from his only scoring shot.
In a Kiwi v Kiwi matchup it was Sam Waardenburg who came away with the lollies as his Miami Hurricanes prevailed 80-73 against Jackson Stent’s Houston Baptist. Waardenburg, a regular starter now for Miami, had 6 points, 4 rebounds, a block and a steal. Stent was afforded 6 minutes for HBU, producing an assist and a rebound.
Freshman Flynn Cameron enjoyed his best outing in De Paul’s 104-70 victory over Chicago State. The 2018 Junior Tall Black scored 6 points for the Blue Demons.
Most of the teams will be back in action between Xmas and the New Year with conference play just around the corner.