At the Women’s NCAA Division I Tournament on Sunday (NZT) there were first round wins for Brigham Young University (BYU) and North Carolina State but the other team with Kiwi interest, Fordham University were defeated.
BYU Cougars won the battle of the big cats holding off a determined Auburn Tigers to win 73-64. Shalae Salmon was the only one of the three New Zealanders on the BYU roster to take the court – the Wellingtonian contributing a valuable 5 points (2/2FG) and 6 rebounds in 14 minutes.
BYU, on a nine game winning streak, will next face Stanford on Tuesday.
North Carolina State and Esra McGoldrick also advanced. The Wolfpack won its first round tie against Maine 63-51. Cantabrian forward McGoldrick entered the fray in the final minute.
10thranked North Carolina State will face 17thranked Kentucky in the round of 32 on Tuesday.
Unfortunately, Fordham University Rams with its trio of Kiwis couldn’t make it a perfect day for the Kiwis. The Rams saw its season end at Syracuse, beaten decisively 70-49.
Mary Goulding brought the curtain down on her career at Fordham with 8 points, 10 rebounds and 3 assists in 39 minutes. Kendell Heremaia had 6 points and 5 rebounds whilst Zara Jillings chipped in with a couple of assists and a rebound.
The Rams finish the year with a 25-9 overall record, tied for the third-most victories in school history and capped with their second ever Atlantic 10 championship.
In other news Hutchinson Community College, with former Westlake Girls forward Keeley Tini in its lineup, went down 60-54 to New Mexico College in the semi-final of the NJCAA (Junior College) National Tournament. Hutchinson were attempting to make it to is fourth National Tournament Final.
There will be at least one Kiwi in the last 16 at the Men’s NCAA Tournament with Matt Freeman and the Oklahoma Sooners taking on Jack Salt and Virginia University in the round of 32 on Monday.
Games involving Kiwis coming up:
Men’s NCAA second round (NZT):
Monday March 25, 12.45pm; Oklahoma (Matt Freeman) v Virginia (Jack Salt)
Monday March 25, 7.40am; Washington (Sam Timmins) v North Carolina
Women’s National Invitation Tournament second round:
Monday March 25, 7.00am; Virginia Commonwealth (Akiene-Tera Reed) v Virginia Tech
Women’s NCAA second round:
Tuesday March 26, 4.00pm; North Carolina State (Esra McGoldrick) v Kentucky
Tuesday March 26, Noon; BYU (Shalae Salmon, Khaedin Taito & Kaylee Smiler) v Stanford