Outstanding performances from Yanni Wetzell and Callum McRae that earned them Conference Player of the Week Awards highlight the latest performances by Kiwi Men playing NCAA Division I basketball .
It was a career night for Yanni Wetzell. The former Westlake Boys and Harbour forward came up with a career best 20 points (6/7FG) accompanied by 12 rebounds which was also a career high in San Diego State’s 66-49 win against local rivals San Diego. He also snared a couple of steals to cap a terrific performance which earned him the Mountain West Conference Player of the Week Award.
Wetzell reached double figures for the third game running with 10 points (3/5FG) in the 62-49 win against Tennessee State.
Capturing Big West Player of the Week honours was Callum McRae. A double-double from the former PNBH and Manawatu centre, his third of the season in just five games, helped UC Riverside to a massive 76-44 win against Redlands. He scored 14 points on a perfect 7 from 7 shooting night and also added 10 rebounds and 3 blocks.
The sophomore was equally impressive two days later producing a game high 18 points to go with 9 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks in a 73-49 demolition of Denver.
Team mate Angus McWilliam chipped in with 7 points and 4 rebounds against Denver.
Izayah Lea’fa had an incredible second half, scoring 21 of his career-high tying 23 points after halftime as Sacramento State came from behind to beat Pepperdine 77-72. During the second half, the fourth-year senior was 4-for-5 from the 3-point line and 9-of-10 from the free throw line. He finished with two assists and four steals to go along with his 23 points in 36 minutes of play. Le’afa now has nine steals in his last three games.
It was unlucky thirteen for Matt Freeman. 13 points (6/9FG) from the senior wing weren’t enough to get UC Santa Barbara the win, the Gauchos going down 78-67 to Oregon State. UCSB won their next outing with Freeman claiming 10 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists in an 88-69 win against Menlo College.
Taki Fahrensohn made 6 from 10 threes in his last two outings for Portland University. He scored 11 points as the Pilots beat Portland State 82-75 and 10 points in the 72-62 defeat of UC Davis. Portland now 5-1 for the season.
Also in form from long range was Max de Geest who was one of just three Long Beach State players in double figures as they were dealt to by #14 Arizona 104-67. The Cantabrian shooting guard was 3 from 6 from deep as he notched 10 points.
Isaac Letoa scored a couple of points in 10 minutes of action as Dartmouth Big Green improved to 5-1 with a 108-59 thumping of Thomas College.
Dan Fotu saw more court time than he has of late as St Mary’s Gaels won a fourth straight game defeating Lehigh 77-66. Dan scored 7 points in 15 minutes and also added 3 rebounds.
Miami University starter Sam Waardenburg scored 6 points and snared 5 rebounds in 23 minutes but the Hurricanes went down 80-55 to UConn.