Nicholls career high the pick of the college performances this week

Michelle Nicholls

A career high in points (23) and assists (7) from Michelle Nicholls propelled La Salle University Explorers to a 77-71 win against Rhode Island – it’s first Atlantic-10 Conference win of the season.

Her 23 points, on 7 from 11 shooting, are the most points scored by an Explorer this season and helped end a run of eleven straight losses dating back to mid-December.

At the other end of the A-10 Conference table Virginia Commonwealth University Rams moved to 10-1, its best conference start in programme history. Akiene-Tera Reed’s 9 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists helped VCU to a 58-37 win against Richmond.

Also chugging along nicely in the A-10 behind VCU are Fordham University – four straight wins moves them to 8-3 in conference play. Its latest successes were home wins against George Mason and St Louis with Mary Goulding and Kendell Heremaia prominent.

Goulding put together a destructive 12 points and 13 rebounds – her sixth double-double of the season against St Louis and followed that with a career high 19 points against George Mason. Kendell Heremaia totaled 13 points, 11 rebounds, 5 steals, 3 assists and a block across the two fixtures.

Amiee Book was another in double-double mode – the freshman guard added a career high 11 rebounds to 10 points for Cal State Fullerton Titans. It was Book’s first double-double in college basketball but unfortunately the Titans were trumped 62-59 on the road by UC Riverside.

Book followed that with 13 points, 5 rebounds, an assist, a steal and a block against UC Irvine but the Titans were outscored 23-7 in the final quarter eventually going down 65-61. Three losses on the bounce for the Titans (3-6 in the Big West Conference) in February but all by single figure margins.

Kayla Mauirirangi dropped 11 points for Tulane University but the Green Wave suffered a third straight loss, rolled 72-67 by Tulsa. Tulane have a 4-6 record in the American Athletic Conference.

There was little in the way of startling numbers from the Kiwi men playing Division I hoops this week.

The short-handed University of Miami Hurricanes snapped a five game losing streak beating Notre Dame 62-47. They came close to making it two wins on the bounce but fell 88-85 in overtime to No 8 ranked North Carolina with Sam Waardenburg scoring 8 points on 3 from 3 shooting – landing both efforts from beyond the arc.

In a high octane encounter between the number two and three ranked NCAA Division I college teams it was Duke University that prevailed beating Virginia University Cavaliers 81-71. Jack Salt produced 6 points and two’s in rebounds, assists and steals as Virginia slip to 8-2 in the Atlantic Coast Conference (20-2 overall).

Another starting centre with 6 points was Callum McRae. The former Palmerston North Boys High big man also added 4 rebounds as University of California Riverside lost 77-54 at home to UC Santa Barbara.

Also on the losing side was Izayah Le’afa as Sacramento State Hornets were stung 65-59 at Northern Colorado. Le’afa collected 5 points, 5 rebounds and 3 steals as the Hornets fall to 1-5 against Big Sky Conference opponents.

Sam Timmins scored with his only two shots but Washington University Huskies lost its unbeaten Pac 12 Conference record after a 75-63 loss at Arizona State and Yanni Wetzel also scored 4 points as Vanderbilt University, still looking for its first Southeastern Conference win, lost 77-67 at Alabama.

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