Monthly Archives: January 2019

Goulding, Manuirirangi, Reed and Le’afa lead array of strong performances by Kiwis

kayla manuiririrangi

Below we reflect on some outstanding individual performances at the weekend in NCAA Division I basketball.

Kayla Manuirirangi passed the 400 career points mark on her way to a team high 17 points (5/10 3PG) as Tulane University Green Wave (3-0 in the American Athletic Conference) defeated Southern Methodist University 61-43. The former New Plymouth Girls High standout also added 4 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal.

Akiene-Tera Reed continued her good form with a team high 19 points (6/11FG), 6 rebounds and a brace of steals as Virginia Commonwealth University, on the back of a dominant second half display, won 68-43 at Richmond. VCU, 3-0 in Atlantic-10 Conference play, next face Fordham University with their trio of Kiwis – Mary Goulding, Kendell Heremaia and Zara Jillings.

Jillings was the toast of the Bronx on Sunday as her And-1 play with 5 seconds to play secured Fordham a 56-53 road win at Saint Louis. Jillings finished with 6 points, 4 rebounds and a block. Kendell Heremaia claimed a career high 16 rebounds (her previous best was 10) to go with 5 points and Mary Goulding passed 500 career points for Fordham as she tallied 12 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists. Fordham, like VCU are 3-0 in Atlantic-10 play.

Also unbeaten in conference fixtures are Northern Colorado Bears. After defeating Montana 73-62 the Bears are 5-0 in the Big Sky Conference. Krystal Leger-Walker, as usual, filled the stats line with 4 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 5 steals.

KL-W leads the conference in minutes played (averaging 38.5 minutes per game) is second on the assists list (79 at 5.6apg) and fourth in steals (34 at 2.4spg).

Michelle Nicholls scored 11 points to go with 5 assists but couldn’t prevent La Salle going down 74-60 to Massachusetts. it was a third straight defeat for the Explorers in Atlantic-10 fixtures.

Tegan Graham accumulated 7 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists but Colgate University Raiders fell 62-49 to Navy – the Raiders 2-2 in the Patriot League.

It took three periods of overtime but Santa Clara eventually secured an 83-75 win against Loyola Marymount. 2014 Tall Fern Dru Toleafoa secured 6 rebounds and 2 points for Santa Clara as they improve to 2-3 in the West Coast Conference.

In Men’s Division I action an Izayah Le’afa three helped Sacramento State Hornets come from five points down in the final thirty seconds, before losing 72-70 on the buzzer against Idaho State. Le’afa finished with 16 points (4/8 3PG), 2 assists and 2 blocks. The Hornets have now lost their opening four Big Sky Conference games.


Sam Waardenburg snared a career high 9 rebounds to accompany 6 points and 3 assists as Miami University Hurricanes collected their first Atlantic Coast Conference point courtesy of a 76-65 win against Wake Forest.

Jack Salt weathered some foul trouble eventually posting 7 points and 8 rebounds as Virginia University Cavaliers extended its unbeaten run this season to 15 games. The defending Atlantic Coast champions won 63-43 at Clemson.

Freshman Callum McRae made 5 points and grabbed 5 rebounds but University of California Riverside dropped their opening Big West Conference opener against Santa Barbara 72-64.


How about this performance?

alex talma copy

In NCAA Division II action Alex Talma not only put together one of the best shooting performances ever seen at Biola University Eagles and in the PacWest Conference but quite possibly the most efficient ever produced by a Kiwi in college basketball.

The Eagles soared past Dominican University 75-66 to improve to 5-4 in conference play after a third straight win but the story behind the score line is a perfect shooting night from the former Westlake and Harbour big man.

Talma made 10 from 10 from the floor and 3 from 3 from the foul line to end up with 23 points. It’s the third-highest number of field goals made without a miss since the PacWest Conference was formed in 1992. He also added 9 rebounds and a block for good measure.

The senior forward is averaging 12.9 points per outing and a team high 9.5 rebounds per game.

Kiwis in college wrap from mid-week conference games

krystal l-w

Northern Colorado Bears, 4-0 in Big Sky Conference play, beat Eastern Washington 67-62 in overtime. Krystal Leger-Walker scored 17 points for the Bears in addition to 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals. She made 3 from 6 from beyond the arc including a crucial make in the overtime period.

All court games from Mary Goulding and Kendell Heremaia propelled Fordham University Rams to a second straight Atlantic 10 Conference win at the expense of Richmond, 68-40. Senior forward Goulding had 16 points (7/12FG), 7 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal. Heremaia was almost as productive collecting 7 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal to go with her 5 points.

Sophmore guard Joellen How dished 7 assists as Wagner College Seahawks beat Central Connecticut State 75-63 in Northeast Conference play. The seven assists were a game high and career best for the Opunake native.

Also recording a career high in assists was Shalae Salmon who had 4 dimes as BYU squeezed past Pacific 77-74 to move to 5-0 and top of the table in the West Coast Conference. Salmon could well have extended that mark further than four had she not fouled out in just 15 minutes after also posting 6 points and a pair of rebounds.

The Virginia Commonwealth University Rams versus La Salle University Explorers Atlantic-10 match up featured former school mates Akiene-Tera Reed and Michelle Nicholls in opposition.

Reed is again leading the Rams scoring this season (averaging 13.2 points per game) and against La Salle scored a team high 12 points as VCU secured an emphatic 68-38 win.

Nicholls (second on the La Salle scoring list this season averaging 7.7ppg) came up with 5 points, 2 rebounds and 2 steals in 25 minutes for La Salle but it was a disappointing night for the Explorers who gave up a colossal 34 turnovers.

La Salle have started conference play with back to back losses, VCU in contrast an encouraging 2 from 2 after successive home wins.

After beating Boston College 83-56 Virginia Cavaliers are 2-0 in the Atlantic Coast Conference and 14-0 overall. Jack Salt, restricted by foul trouble, had 7 points (3/3FG), 2 rebounds a steal and a block for the Cavs.

sam timmins

Another Tall Black centre Sam Timmins swatted a season best 4 blocks as the University of Washington Huskies defeated Utah 69-53 in Pac-12 Conference play. The former Otago Boys standout also came up with 7 boards and 4 points.

Dan Fotu scored 5 points and Quinn Clinton three as St Mary’s College beat BYU 88-66, St Mary’s 1-1 in West Coast Conference play.

Miami University Hurricanes are on a three game losing skid after falling 68-62 at No 13 Florida State. Sam Waardenburg scored 4 points for Miami – all from the foul line.

Yanni Wetzell had 8 points and 5 rebounds but Vanderbilt University fell 82-63 at Georgia, its second loss in its opening two Southeastern Conference games.

Kiwi v Kiwi – Reed v Nicholls

The Virginia Commonwealth University Rams versus La Salle University Explorers Atlantic-10 match up featured good mates Akiene-Tera Reed and Michelle Nicholls in opposition.

The pair spent their last two high school years together at Life Centre Academy in New Jersey before securing scholarships at their respective NCAA Division I universities.

Reed is again leading the Rams scoring this season (averaging 13.2 points per game) and against La Salle scored a team high 12 points as VCU secured an emphatic 68-38 win.

Nicholls (second on the La Salle scoring list this season averaging 7.7ppg) came up with 5 points, 2 rebounds and 2 steals in 25 minutes for La Salle but it was a disappointing night for the Explorers who gave up a colossal 34 turnovers.

Reed will face more Kiwi opposition next week when VCU travel to the Bronx to face Fordham University who have Mary Goulding, Kendell Heremaia and Zara Jillings in their lineup.


Leger-Walker lights up good week for Kiwi women in college hoops



Conference play is now underway in all NCAA Division I basketball programmes and there have been some strong performances from Kiwi women in the early exchanges. Here we highlight the best of the best amongst the Kiwi women in the past week beginning with a career high from a former Tall Fern.

The University of Northern Colorado Bears have begun Big Sky Conference play in strong fashion winning their opening three games, the most recent an 86-72 win at Idaho – the Bears have won 11 straight games dating back to last season. Krystal Leger-Walker scored a conference career best 19 points for NCU converting 6 from 8 from the field including both of her three-point attempts.

Kendell Heremaia was in typical stats stuffing form as Fordham University Rams moved to 2-0 in Atlantic 10 Conference play with a 50-38 defensive masterclass against George Washington. The St Peter’s School alumni, like Leger-Walker, dished a career best 6 assists to go with 5 points, 3 rebounds and 3 steals.

Cantabrian Mary Goulding was also in good form for the Rams compiling a double-double of 10 points and 12 rebounds, 5 of those at the offensive end. It was the third double-double of the campaign for Goulding who is averaging 10.4 points and 7.5 rebounds per game in her senior season.

Kayla Manuirirangi scored 16 points (4/7 3PG) as Tulane University Green Wave beat Central Michigan 68-57 at the Miami Holiday Classic. The Taranaki guard then scored 8 points as Tulane began American Conference play with a 68-57 win against East Carolina University.

Akiene-Tera Reed followed up her career best 28 points last week with 11 points, 5 rebounds and a couple of assists as Virginia Commonwealth Rams beat St Joseph’s 59-40 to open their Atlantic 10 Conference slate in positive fashion.

Brigham Young University Cougars beat Loyola Marymount 55-44 in West Coast Conference action with Shalae Salmon getting 8 points, on a perfect 4 from 4 from the field, in addition to 5 rebounds and a block. The Cougars are a perfect four from four in conference play.

La Salle University fell 74-47 to Temple to slump to 3-11 for the season ahead of conference play. Michelle Nicholls scored 9 points (3/5 3PG) for La Salle and added deuces in rebounds, assists and steals.

Opunake native Joellen How came up with 5 points, 3 rebounds and a steal for Wagner College but the Seahawks went down 76-61 against St Francis in their opening Northeast Conference game.

200th appearance ends in disappointment for Micaela Cocks

micaela copy

The Australian Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) title defence is over for Micaela Cocks and Townsville Fire.

Cocks had a three-point attempt rim out to try and force overtime in the 77-72 loss to Dandenong but ultimately her 200thappearance for the Fire ended in disappointment.

The acting captain finished with 14 points (5/10FG) but ultimately her effort, and that of Stella Beck (4 points), were not enough.

It wasn’t a good weekend for another Kiwi skipper though. Toni Farnworth and Perth Lynx were beaten 64-59 in Melbourne by the Boomers. Farnworth’s shooting touch has deserted her of late and she went zero from five in this one.

Kalani Purcell doesn’t need to score too many points to influence a game and again the Tall Ferns forward played a key role for Melbourne despite scoring just three points.  She pulled down a team high 10 rebounds, a team best 3 steals and dished 4 assists in a typical all court display.

The two teams will meet again, this time in Perth, on Thursday.

Adelaide Lightning maintained fourth spot on the WNBL ladder with an 110-61 dismantling of Sydney. Penina Davidson scored in double figures for the Lightning adding 5 rebounds to 13 points (4/8FG).


WNBL Ladder:

13-5 Canberra Capitals

13-5 Melbourne Boomers

11-7 Perth Lynx

11-7 Adelaide Lightning

8-10 Dandenong Rangers

7-11 Townsville Fire

7-11 Bendigo Spirit

2-16 Sydney Flames

Fotu and Ulm progress in EuroCup

ratiopharm ulm vs. ALBA Berlin, esayCredit Basketball Bundesliga, Basketball, 30.09.2017

 Photo: Langer/Eibner-Pressefoto

Ratiopharm Ulm are on a three game winning stretch in the EuroCup following a 70-63 win against fellow German side Fraport Skyliners Frankfurt. Isaac Fotu’s contribution was 6 points and 6 rebounds including four at the offensive end.

Back to back wins in December carried Ulm out of section play with a 5 win-5 loss record and into the final sixteen.

They now find themselves in Group D and will need to finish in the top two to progress to the quarter-finals. The two German clubs are joined in the group by Russian club Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar and French side Asvel Villeurbanne. The opening win against Frankfurt in the group is a welcome boost to Ulm’s chances of a spot in the last eight.

Tai Webster and his Turkish club Galatasaray failed to progress to the EuroCup last 16 after finishing with a 3-7 record in initial pool play. They will now focus on the Turkish League where they currently sit fifth on the table with a 7-5 record.

Reed and Wetzell provide fireworks

Tera Reed

There was plenty of hoops played on New Year’s Eve in the States and it was Akiene-Tera Reed and Yanni Wetzell that provided the fireworks from a Kiwi perspective.

Virginia Commonwealth University, and Reed in particular, will be in good heart ahead of conference play after the Rams butted Delaware State 97-55. Reed scored a career best 28 points (11/13FG) in just 19 minutes of action, dished 6 assists, and claimed 4 rebounds as VCU improved to 8-5. Next up at the weekend is a home encounter against St Joseph’s to open the Atlantic 10 Conference schedule.

Yanni Wetzel

Former Westlake Boys big man Yanni Wetzell enjoyed a second straight start for Vanderbilt and rewarded the Commodores coaching staff with a season best 16 points. In front of 8,000 fans he was nearly perfect from the floor (5 from 6) and the foul line (6 from 7). Wetzell also added 6 rebounds and a couple of blocks, Vanderbilt winning 90-59 against UNC Asheville. The 9-3 Commodores entertain Ole Miss on Sunday (NZT) in its Southeastern Conference opener.

Another ex-Westlake ‘Big’ Jack Salt was only required for 17 minutes as #4 Virginia University moved to 11-0 for the season after a comfortable 100-64 victory against Marshall University. 4 assists, 3 rebounds and a couple of points were all that was needed from the Tall Blacks centre.

Northern Colorado University Bears made it two wins from two outings in Big Sky Conference play with a 79-63 win against Portland State. Krystal Leger-Walker didn’t have the best of shooting nights but the starting points guard still manufactured 8 assists and 3 steals to go with 4 rebounds.

Also 2-0 in conference play are BYU after a 67-59 win at San Francisco in their second West Coast Conference game of the campaign. Starting centre Shalae Salmon score 5 points (2/3FG) for the Cougars.