The latest chapter of Kiwi v Kiwi or to be more precise Kiwi v Kiwis in US college basketball occurred in the Bronx on Thursday (NZT) when Akiene-Tera Reed and the Rams of Virginia Commonwealth University locked horns with the Rams of Fordham University.
Fordham, with their trio of Kiwis Mary Goulding, Kendell Heremaia and Zara Jillings, would have started as slight favourites on their home court and with a 13 points lead at half-time (30-17) appeared to be justifying that tag.
Both teams entered the game with a 3-0 conference record so it was predictable it would a tight encounter and so it proved as VCU stormed back in the third quarter to level at 40 points apiece with ten to play.
The VCU resurgence coincided with Heremaia (5 points and 8 rebounds) and Goulding (12 points and 6 rebounds), two of Fordham’s starters, forced to the bench with foul issues.
The fourth quarter was a defensive slog with just 11 points scored in the period – crucially for VCU they scored seven of them.
Reed finished with a team high 5 assists along with 8 points, 3 rebounds and a brace of steals.
The quartet of New Zealand representative players are all having fine seasons. Reed leads the VCU scoring averaging 13.6 points per game whilst Goulding is the leading rebounder for Fordham with 7.4 boards per outing and second in scoring (10.8ppg). Heremaia has established herself in the starting five for Fordham and averages 8.0 points and 5.3 rebounds whilst regular sixth man Jillings tallies 4 points and 3 rebounds.
VCU with a 4-0 record now sit top of the Atlantic-10 Conference standings alongside Davidson University with Fordham (3-1) in third place.