Monthly Archives: January 2021

Wrap on kiwis playing in Junior College

Keeping up to date with the numerous Kiwis playing Junior College basketball in the States is a little challenging. 

However, with the Junior College (NJCAA) season just getting underway, here is our first roundup of the actiona and already there have been some standout efforts from New Zealand players.

On Waiaaria Rogers scored 18 points (4/73PG) as Marshalltown College Tigers  defeated Southeastern 63-50. The former Rangitoto shooting guard made 4 from 7 from three-point land whilst fellow kiwi Heeni Blakey tallied 6 points.

The pair were in double figure scoring form a couple of days later despite Marshalltown going down 73-55 to Southwestern, Blakey scored 13 points and Rogers 11 points.

Grace Hunter was all business as South Plains College opened their campaign with a pair of wins. The Wellingtonian tallied 19 points (7/11FG), 8 rebounds, 9 assists and 3 blocks in the two games.

Three Kiwis were on show as Weatherford College defeated Western Texas 80-67. Briarley Rogers scored 10 points for Weatherford whilst Jordyn Maddix and Parehuia Delamere lined up for Western Texas College. Delamere came up with a massive 6 steals to add to 5 points and 4 rebounds.

A couple of days earlier the Maddix and Delamere had faced off against sisters Leah and Jenna Rose Mafua. Leah notched a team high 8 rebounds and added 4 points whilst Jenna Rose scored 6 points but the Harbour duo were the grinners on the day with Western Texas beating Otero 54-40.

Williston State, with a trio of Kiwis haven’t made the best start to the season losing their opening three games.

In their most recent loss, 74-48 to North Dakota, Jazz Kailahi-Fulu (19 points and 8 rebounds) and Keeley Tini (12 points) were the only Williston players in double figures whilst Kararaina Pene dished 3 assists.

Utah State Eastern claimed the double over Arizona Western to begin their campaign. In the second win Ella Bradley stuffed the stats line with 11 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks. USE followed that with a completely one sided 111-27 win against Christian Community. Brooklyn Pouwhare snared 13 rebounds in that one with Hannah Wentworth knocking down 5 from 9 threes for 15 points..

Also filling the stats line was Ashlee Strawbridge in her first collegiate game for #25 ranked Southern Idaho. The Cantabrian notched 7 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks and 2 steals in Idaho’s 83-67 loss to Casper College whilst Kyra Paniora chipped in with 6 points.

Southern Idaho bounced back four days later with Kaitlin Burgess scoring 10 points in a comfortable 76-42 win against Western Wyoming.

Former Taranaki rep Izzy Cook scored 4 points as Western Nebraska also won a one sided affair – 113-28 against Central Wyoming.

Samantha Meadows (5 points, 8 rebounds and 3 steals) and Miya Riwaka (2 points and 2 rebounds) for Central Wyoming.

Yzabelle Tevao scored her first college points making 3 from 4 from the field as Lake Region State defeated University Jamestown 83-73, Zoe Ebbitt was also on the scoresheet with 5 points.

Dejan Schuler played 4 minutes for Casper College in their narrow 64-62 win against Snow College.

Harata Coleman made a brief appearance for Barton College as they cruised past Highland 78-41.

Likewise Molly Cockburn came off the bench as Miles made a winning start (8160) against Bismark.

Lot to like about Alok

The performance of the week in men’s college basketball belonged to Yuat Alok as Coppin State defeated Norfolk State 81-77 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. In just his fourth game for Coppin, Alok scored a career high 18 points (8/12FG) and pulled down 8 rebounds.

Not far behind in the pecking order was Dan Fotu who scored 16 points as St Mary’s College, California won 65-61 on the road at Marymount. Fotu went 6/8 from the foul line and 4 from 8 from the field.

Quinn Clinton iced the game with a pair of free throws for his only points in the game as St Mary’s grabbed their second West Coast Conference win in three days. St Mary’s also defeated San Francisco 67-63 with Fotu scoring 11 points, his fourth consecutive double figure haul.

Also in the West Coast Conference Taki Farensohn scored 7 points but Portland suffered a heavy defeat at BYU going down 95-67.

Flynn Cameron posted 11 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists as University of California Riverside deposited CSU Bakersfield 70-63. Angus McWilliam contributed 3 points and a couple of rebounds as Riverside improved to 4-2 in the Big West Conference ahead of a 12-day break.

Flynn’s brother Tobias made 8 points, 4 rebounds and 6 assists as high flying Abilene Christian demolished Central Arkansas 93-58. Abilene are 12-3 overall and 4-1 in the Southland Conference.

Davidson College improved to 6-2 in the Atlantic 10 Conference after a 69-60 win against Massachusetts. Sam Mennenga had 11 points (5/11FG) and 8 rebounds, 3 of those at the offensive end, plus 6 points for Davidson. Those points carried the former Westlake Boys forward past 100 points for the season at 7.5 points per outing.

Kruz Perrott-Hunt scored a season best 10 points to accompany 5 rebounds as South Dakota improved to 6-0 in the Summit League with an 84-74 win against Western Illinois.

Anzac Rissetto scored 7 points as North Carolina Charlotte trumped Florida Atlantic 74-71 and are now 3-3 in Conference USA.

In NCAA Division II Conor Flanagan amassed a career high 23 points (8/14FG, 5/7 3PG) but couldn’t prevent West Florida going down 83-70 to Lee University.

Equally impressive was Wilfred Dickson who amassed 26 points (7/11FG) as South Dakota School of Mines won a tight encounter against Black Hills State 79-78 to move to 6-4 in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. Dickson is enjoying a fine senior year averaging 13.4ppg.

Concordia-Irvine opened PacWest Conference play with a pair of losses to Point Loma. Across the two games Mac Stodart scored 22 points (8/15FG, 3/53PG).

The two game series between Dallas Baptist and Midwestern State was decided by just 2 points with DBU following up an 80-81 win with an even more dramatic 91-90 victory – the second victory courtesy of an in-bounds alley-oop play with 0.3 seconds left on the clock. Will Heather played his part in the wins totaling 25 points (10/18FG) across the two games. 

Also with 8 points was Matt Brien for Nebraska at Kearney with the Lopers well beaten by Missouri Southern State, 85-57.

Krystal Leger-Walker brings up 100 games in style.

Krystal Leger-Walker celebrated her 100th NCAA Division I appearance with a fine individual performance and the W, as Washington State Cougars claimed a narrow 77-75 double overtime win against Oregon State.

Krystal led the Cougars scoring with 23 points, claiming 6 rebounds and a season high 5 steals. She now has 150 points for the season averaging 12.5ppg.

In an impressive family double Charlisse posted 22 points, 5 rebounds and 3 steals – her 12th straight double figure tally and 7th game scoring 20 points or more.

The twelve straight double digit scores represent the longest double figure scoring streak to begin a Washington State career.

It was the fourth overtime game in the last five games (two won, two lost) for Washington State who now have a 6-4 Pac-12 Conference record.

Fordham University improved to 5-2 in the Atlantic 10 Conference with Kendell Heremaia prominent in a 68-49 win at St Bonaventure. Heremaia finished with 20 points, including 4 from 8 threes, as well as 8 rebounds and 4 assists.

Jade Kirisome and Tayla Dalton made double figure contributions as St Mary’s, California recorded a 79-61 win at home to Pepperdine. 

Kirisome scored 12 points and Dalton 10 – St Mary’s 2-6 in West Coast Conference play.

Amiee Books run of eleven consecutive games in double figures came to an end at Hawaii as Cal State Fullerton went down 57-43 to the hosts. Book, just one point shy of continuing her sequence, finished with 9 points plus 5 rebounds and a couple of blocks.

Wofford College split the spoils with Western Carolina winning one and losing the other in a weekend double header. Helen Mathews secured 6 rebounds and added a couple of points in a 65-45 win followed by 6 points in a 65-54 loss on Saturday.

Akienne-Tera Reed dished a game high 5 assists and also scored 7 points but Virginia Commonwealth couldn’t overcome Richmond going down 69-64, VCU now 4-2 in Atlantic 10 play.

Emme Shearer nabbed 6 points and a couple of steals but Portland were defeated 79-61 by #18 ranked Gonzaga.

In NCAA Division II play Tessa Talo-Tomokino played a season high 30 minutes as Northeastern registered an 89-79 double overtime win against Lincoln. TT-T came up with 6 assists, 4 points and 3 rebounds as Northeastern improve to 4-8.

Eva Langton (10 points) was one of only two Texas A&M International players in double figures as they were punished 85-42 by Lone Star Conference leaders Lubbock Christian.

In the NAIA Michelle Nicholls popped up with 7 points and 7 rebounds as Central Methodist, now 8-4 in conference fixtures beat Grand View 77-56.

Junior College play is underway with a bunch of Kiwis making their debuts. We will try and bring you a full rundown later in the week but ahead of that it’s worth highlighting the performances of Waiaaria Rogers and Heeni Blakey

Rogers scored 18 points (4/73PG) as Marshalltown College Tigers  defeated Southeastern 63-50. The former Rangitoto shooting guard made 4 from 7 from three-point land whilst teamate Blakey tallied 6 points.

The pair were in double figure scoring form a couple of days later despite Marshalltown going down 73-55 to Southwestern – Blakey scored 13 points and Rogers 11 points.

Alok to Coppin, Fotu to the fore, as kiwis chime in college hoops

The biggest news from men’s college basketball this week concerns Rangitoto College alumni Dan Fotu and Yuat Alok.

Alok has resurrected his college career, with immediate effect, at Coppin State University where former Breakers Head Coach Kevin Braswell is an assistant coach. 

Alok was thrown in the deep end last weekend as he started both games of Coppin’s double header against Morgan State. Coppin earned a win and a loss with the former Rangitoto big man claiming 10 points (4/8FG) and 4 rebounds on debut followed by 6 points and 6 rebounds 24-hours later.

Meanwhile Dan Fotu enjoyed one of the best games of his three-year college career as St Mary’s, California gave #1 ranked Gonzaga as much as they could handle before going down 73-59. 

The Tall Black forward scored a team high 15 points (6/10FG) and added 7 rebounds whilst playing a massive 38 minutes. Quinn Clinton chimed in with 8 points as the kiwi duo made a combined 5 from 11 threes.

Sam Mennenga was within a rebound of his first double-double for Davidson College as the Wildcats defeated St Joseph’s 80-66.

Mennenga finished with 9 rebounds to accompany 15 points, knocking down 3 from 5 from beyond the three-point arc as Davidson moved to 2-2 in the Atlanic-10.

Fellow Westlaker James Moors scored a season high 14 points as Colorado State University thumped San Jose State 88-61 with CSU now 7-1 in the Mountain West Conference league.

In a non-conference game Flynn Cameron came up with 12 points, as Cal Riverside pushed the highly touted USC all the way before going down 67-62 in overtime. 

The former Junior Tall Black followed that with 13 points in Riverside’s thumping of Cal Poly (86-51) – Angus McWilliam 6 points (3/3FG) in that one, with Riverside now 3-1 in the Big West Conference.

In NCAA Division II play things couldn’t have gone much better for Aniwaniwa Tait-Jones. The former St Pat’s college captain made a stunning PacWest Conference start amassing 41 points (17/30FG, 4/9 3PG) and 20 rebounds as Hawaii at Hilo completed a pair of wins against Hawaii Pacific. 

Fellow Kiwi Tom Power added a pair of rebounds to 2 points in the second Hilo win.

Wilfred Dickson scored a team high 18 points (7/12FG) as South Dakota School of Mines gained a narrow 74-70 win against Regis. The former Napier Boys High guard also added 9 rebounds as he reached the 100 points mark for the season at 12.5 points per game.

Will Heather dished a career high 8 assists as Dallas Baptist eased past Oklahoma Christian 90-79. The former Rosmini forward added 4 points, 4 rebounds and 3 blocks for Dallas Baptist that are 7-1 in the Lone Star Conference.

Matt Brien scored a team high 16 points (6/12FG) and also snared 6 boards as Nebraska at Kearney saw off Missouri Western 75-67.

Mac Stodart made a start for Concordia-Irvine in their opening PacWest Conference fixture, a 93-84 loss to Northwest Nazarine. Stodart made 11 points on 4 from 8 shooting.

Reihanna Maxwell-Topia’s 8 points (2/4 3PG) and 3 rebounds helped St Joseph’s Fighting Saints to a 68-63 road win at Trinity Christian.

Plenty to like from the States

The stunning sequence of performances by Washington State University Cougars and the guard duo of Krystal and Charlisse Leger-Walker continues to make headlines.

Last week we reported Charlisse had scored the game-winner in the overtime win against Arizona that had carried WSU to #25 ranking in the country.

That has been followed by two more overtime games with the Leger-Walker’s amassing 83 points in the process. Unfortunately both games resulted in narrow defeats with an 81-77 loss at USC and a 66-68 defeat at #8 ranked UCLA.

Against USC, Krystal (23) and Charlisse (29) combined for a remarkable 52 points, 12 rebounds and 8 assists. The numbers against UCLA were not quite so eye watering but still amounted to 31 points, 11 rebounds, 7 assists.

Whilst Charlisse has understandably been garnering most the headlines, after all she leads the Pac-12 in scoring (19.7ppg) and steals (3.0spg), Krystal has been in outstanding form herself.

The senior guard is averaging 12.4 points per game and is 4th on both the Pac-12 three-point shooting list (making 44.7% from deep) and the assists board (4.0 per game).

Things won’t get any easier for WSU (5-3) over the coming days with trips to #10 ranked Oregon and the #1 ranked Stanford.

Talking of Stanford, Charlotte Whittaker and Colorado Buffaloes produced the upset of the week beating the top dogs 77-72 in overtime. Whittaker played 16 minutes off the bench contributing a 2 points, 2 rebounds and a pair of assists. It was the Buffaloes first ever win against Stanford in Pac-12 play.

A fine all-round performance from Kendell Heremaia helped propel Fordham to a 72-63 win at St Louis. The senior finished with 14 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists as Fordham moved to 4-2 in the Atlantic 10. Those points moved Heremaia to 99 for the season at 11.0ppg.

A relieved Cal State Fullerton gained their first win of the season beating Concordia University 69-51. Amiee Book, Fullerton’s leading scorer this season, was at her stats stuffing best accumulating 14 points (5/12FG, 2/3 3PG), 2 assists, 3 rebounds, 2 steals and 3 blocks.

Akienne-Tera Reid accumulated a tidy 11 points, 4 rebounds, a pair of assists and a brace of steals as Virginia Commonwealth moved to 4-0 in the Atlantic-10 Conference with a dominant 60-41 win against George Mason.

That was followed by a 55-49 loss to Massachusetts with Reed compiling 9 points, 6 boards and 4 assists.

Portland had a win at San Francisco and a loss at Santa Clara with Emme Shearer recording  6 points plus 3 steals in both games – Portland 4-2 in West Coast Conference play.

Eva Langton played a starring role as Texas A&M International stretched their NCAA Division II unbeaten run to seven games with a 69-59 win at St Edwards. The Taranaki guard recorded her first double-double in Texas A&M colours with 11 rebounds and 20 points (7/14Fg, 5/6FT).

In a Junior College pre-season game Williston State College, featuring a trio of Kiwis, lost 74-53 to Dawson College.

All three New Zealander’s made scoring contributions for Williston – Jazz Kailahi-Fulu (12 points), Keeley Tini (5 points and 6 rebounds) and Kararaina Pene (3 points).

Flynn Cameron heads Men’s College performances this week

Flynn Cameron found some good scoring form in the Big West Conference at the weekend.

The former Junior Tall Blacks guard accumulated 26 points on 10/12 from the field including 4/5 from beyond the arc as California Riverside recorded a win and a loss against Hawaii on Saturday and Sunday.

Cameron is shooting the three-ball at a highly efficient 48% (12/25) this season and profiting from his move from De Paul to Riverside.

Despite going down 75-72 in overtime to Belmont Abbey, Anzac Rissetto enjoyed a productive outing for North Carolina Charlotte. The former Auckland Grammar centre corralled a team high 8 rebounds, including five on the offensive glass, 11 points and 3 steals – all those numbers, plus the 32 minutes played, were career highs for Rissetto.

James Moors scored 8 points (3/5FG) as Colorado State kept rolling with a narrow 83-80 win against UNLV. Colorado State are off to an encouraging 4-0 start in the Mountain West Conference.

Kruz Perrott-Hunt (6 points and 3 rebounds) made 2 from 3 from long range as South Dakota got the better of Kansas City winning 68-62.

St Mary’s College, California went down 66-64 to Santa Clara with both Dan Fotu and Quinn Clinton scoring each scoring 6 points for the Gaels.

Another six-point tally went the way of Taki Fahrensohn (2/3 3PG) as Portland went down, unsurprisingly, 116-88 to #1 ranked Gonzaga.

NCAA Division II

Marvin Williams-Dunn recorded 5 assists in his collegiate debut for Ouachita Baptist University in their season opener at Harding University. The former Rosmini College point guard also scored a couple of points as Ouachita went down 84-77.

Will Heather scored 13 points on 6 from 7 shooting but couldn’t prevent Dallas Baptist losing their first game of the season, 84-71 against West Texas A&M ranked #3 in NCAA Division II basketball.

DBU, ranked #21 themselves turned the tables in the second game of the weekend with Heather getting 6 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 blocks.

Former Auckland Grammar big man Conor Flannagan scored a college career high 15 points as University of West Florida beat Auburn Montgomery 78-70 to improve to 2-1 in Gulf South Conference play.

Also in Division II play Matt Brien (3/7 3PG) scored 12 points to help Nebraska at Kearney to a 72-69 win against Central Missouri. The former St Pat’s and St Kevin’s, Oamaru guard is enjoying a promising start to his collegiate career playing over 20 minutes per game this season.


In NAIA play Maxim Stephens came close to a double-double as Rocky Mountain College rolled past Montana Western 83-59. The Waikato big man recorded 16 points and 8 rebounds.

Finn McClure totaled 8 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists as Milligan University fell 80-64 to Columbia International.

Charlisse and Krystal continue to get it done in good week for Kiwi women

Under normal circumstances the performances of Akienne-Tera Reed, Kendell Heremaia, Amiee Book or Tegan Graham would be worthy top billing acts but on Monday morning (NZ time) the Leger-Walker’s, Charlisse and Krystal usurped that quartet to steal the headlines.

Washington State beat No 7 ranked Arizona 71-69 in overtime after trailing by 16 points at one stage. The win boosted their Pac-12 record to 5-1 with the L-W’s playing huge roles.

Charlisse finished with a team high 17 points (plus 5 assists) although it was two critical plays that stood out. A reverse lay-up tied proceedings in regulation with 3 seconds to play before she made a buzzer beating left hander in traffic at the end of the extra five minutes to seal the deal. The fist pump and jig after the play showed what it meant to Charlisse.

“Those who know me, know I don’t get too high or too low but when I made that shot I was so high,” exclaimed the freshman guard.

Krystal was equally prominent as she threatened a double-double finishing with 14 points and 9 assists whilst playing all 45 minutes of an enthralling contest.

Amiee Book carried California State Fullerton on her shoulders as the Titans went searching for their first conference win against Big West leaders Long Beach State.

Book amassed a season high 21 points (8/12FG, 4/5 3PG), 4 rebounds and 3 steals as Fullerton fell to an agonising 66-64 loss. It was the 10th straight game in double figures for Book who is averaging 15.9 points per game, making 46% (17/37) of her shots from beyond the arc.

Akienne-Tera Reed and Virginia Commonwealth University played two overtime games in three days and prevailed in both Atlantic-10 contests. They beat Duquesne 68-63 and Bonaventure 69-67 with Reed totaling 16 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists a block and a steal against Duquesne followed by 15 points and 7 rebounds. 

VCU are 3-0 in the Atlantic-10 Conference with Fordham University Rams 3-2 after a win and a loss at the weekend.

Kendell Heremaia made 4 from 6 threes in tallying 16 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists as the Rams beat Rhode Island 64-58 for a third consecutive Atlantic-10 victory. That run was brought to a halt on Sunday with Fordham going down 61-56 to Massachusetts, Heremaia fouling out in 18 minutes with 8 points and a couple of boards.

Tegan Graham scored a season high 14 points and Kaylee Smiler contributed 9 points as BYU continued their good form with a 71-57 win against Loyola Marymount in West Coast Conference (WCC) play.

The pair knocked down 7 seven of BYU’s 9 threes in the game Graham converting 4 from 5 and Smiler 3 from 4 attempts from beyond the arc. 

Also in the West Coast Conference Emme Shearer scored 6 points but Portland were thumped 75-43 by conference leaders Gonzaga. 

7 points from Tsubasa Nisbett (2/2FG, 2/2FT) helped Georgia Southern to a massive 87-56 win over Appalachian State in the Sun Belt Conference.

She’s had to wait a while but Dominique Stephens was finally able to make her debut for Rocky Mountain College. The former Waikato and St Peter’s School representative scored 7 points (3/4FG) in her first collegiate game as Rocky went down 79-66 at Montana Eastern in NAIA action.

Also in NAIA Michelle Nicholls scored 9 points for Central Methodist in their 81-62 loss at Benedictine.

The ‘M Men’ Moors, Mennenga and McClure get the W’s

Colorado State University produced their largest comeback in programme history to beat San Diego State 70-67 in Mountain West Conference play.

James Moors (5 points and 6 rebounds) played 17 minutes off the bench for Colorado, the astonishing win made even more notable given San Diego were ranked #23 in the country.

San Diego got a degree of revenge a couple of days later completing a 78-65 victory in the second game of the double header. It was another promising outing from Moors as he scored 9 points on 5 from 7 shooting.

Davidson University improved to 2-1 in Atlantic-10 Conference play with a solid 61-48 victory at Duquesne. Sam Mennenga, starting for the tenth straight game, finished with 6 points and 7 rebounds for Davidson.

Kruz Perrott-Hunt scored 5 points in both games as South Dakota got the double over Denver in their Summit League openers.

In Division II action ex-Canterbury Rams wing Ben Carlile-Smith scored with his first shot in NCAA basketball. He only took one shot, a three, as Colorado Christian fell 82-78 against Adams State. 

Hawkes Bay native Wilfred Dickson scored 16 points in two consecutive games as South Dakota School of Mines won a thriller against Fort Lewis but suffered a loss two days later. The Hardrockers won 84-79 in overtime to beat Fort Lewis but went down 75-64 to Western Colorado. The Hardrockers are 3-4 in the Rocky Mountain Conference.

Dallas Baptist University are off to 4-0 start in the Lone Star Conference, their latest success a 99-62 drubbing of Cameron University. Will Heather posted 8 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and a block, the win lifting DBU to #21 on the Division II rankings.

Finn McClure posted a team high 7 assists to accompany a dozen points as Milligan University eased past St Andrews 95-87 to improve to 5-3 in the Appalachian Athletic Conference.

Book, Heremaia and Leger-Walker all pass scoring milestones

Amiee Book and former St Peter’s School, Cambridge teammates Kendell Heremaia and Krystal Leger-Walker all brought up college career points scoring milestones in recent days.

Heremaia eased past 800 career points in her 105th appearance as Fordham University Rams proved way too good for George Mason in their Atlantic-10 fixture.

Heremaia was all business in the 62-32 victory notching 15 points and 6 rebounds.

She followed that with 12 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists as Fordham completed the weekend home double with victory against George Washington (53-47).

Washington State also recorded a pair of wins – both on the road. They defeated Utah 79-74 and followed that with a 76-63 victory against Colorado with the Leger-Walker’s again prominent.

Against Utah Krystal Leger-Walker stuffed the stats line with 12 points, 4 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 blocks and 2 steals. 

For Krystal the 12 points moved her past 600 Division I career points having scored 566 in her three years at Northern Colorado University prior to Washington State.

She charged on towards 700 points 48-hours later at Colorado scoring a career high 25 points (previous best 22 points) on 10 from 18 from the field that included 4 of 6 from beyond the arc.

Meanwhile Charlisse continued her prolific start to her collegiate career. She amassed 39 points, 10 rebounds, 13 assists and 10 steals across the two games, performances that earned the Tall Ferns guard her third Pac-12 Freshman of the Week Award.

Former Junior Tall Fern Charlotte Whittaker had 2 points and 3 rebounds for Colorado. In the Buffs previous game two days earlier the Cantabrian scored 9 points (4/6FG) and added 5 rebounds, in just 13 minutes, as Colorado stamped on Washington 60-50 . 

Amiee Book has scored in double figures for the fifth straight game but couldn’t prevent California State Fullerton being bumped 79-60 by UC Santa Barbara. Book led Fullerton with 19 points to pass 700 career points for the Titans.

The Titans leading scorer this season made 4 from 9 threes in the contest and overall is shooting 43% from beyond the arc (12/28).

Eva Langton snared 5 rebounds to go along with 9 points as Texas A&M International improved to 2-1 in the Lone Star Conference after prevailing 62-48 against Kingsville.

Former Harbour teammates Emme Shearer (Portland) and Tayla Dalton (St Mary’s) went head to head in West Coast Conference play on Tuesday and it was Shearer who left with the smiles as Portland triumphed 81-58. The ex-Westlake Girls High wing tallied 4 points, 3 rebounds, 3 steals and a block.

In contrast Dalton was limited to just a solitary rebound for the struggling Gaels.

Leger-Walker’s and Mennenga to the fore as we bid farewell to 2020

In American college basketball the curtain came down on 2020 with Charlisse Leger-Walker and Sam Mennenga again grabbing the headlines from a Kiwi perspective.

Washington State University guard Charlisse was named Pac-12 Conference Freshman of the Week, for the second time in a month, after her 20 points against No 8 ranked Oregon. It ranks as the most points scored against Oregon this season.

Across the five games WSU have played this season CL-W has averaged 18.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.6 steals per game.

Whilst Charlisse has been attracting all the headlines sister Krystal has also been highly productive for the Cougars.

She has averaged 7.0 points (making 6 from 12 3PG), 4.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists across the five games. 

Tara Manumaleuga scored 9 points for highly ranked Arizona Wildcats in their dominant 96-42 win against Idaho. 

Manumaleuga, who played for NZ at the 2017 U17 FIBA World Cup, knocked down 3 from 4 three-points attempts for the Wildcats that are ranked #6 in NCAA Division I Women’s basketball.

St Mary’s College, California fell to a 78-70 overtime loss to Pacific in their West Coast Conference (WCC) opener.

Jade Kirisome scored 11 points (3/6 3PG) and Tayla Dalton nabbed a couple of points and 3 rebounds in the defeat.

Also in WCC play BYU made it two-from-two with a comfortable 76-50 victory against Santa Clara. Tegan Graham tallied 8 points and two assists with Kaylee Smiler making 3 points and 2 dimes.

Portland University Pilots joined BYU at the top of the WCC ladder with a 2-0 record after a hard fought 58-53 win at Loyola Marymount. Emme Shearer scored 4 points for the Pilots.

Former Rotorua Girls High standout Pareunuora Pene knocked down her only shot – a three – as Tennessee Chattanooga beat Northern Alabama 77-64. Chattanooga are a useful 5-4 ahead of Southern Conference play.

The best men’s performance belonged to freshman forward Sam Mennenga. The former Westlake big-man added 6 rebounds to 13 points as Davidson went down 80-74 to Richmond in Atlantic-10 Conference action.

Colorado State defeated Fresno State 75-53 and 81-59 in their Mountain West Conference double-header. James Moors totaled a more than useful 13 points (6/10FG), 11 rebounds, 5 assists, a pair of blocks and 2 steals in 43 minutes of action across the two games. 

7 points and 4 rebounds for Dan Fotu as St Mary’s ended the year on a winning note defeating Colorado State 63-45 in a non-conference game.

Thomas Webley had 6 rebounds and a couple of points as University of Hartford suffered a narrow 53-51 loss to New Hampshire – Hartford now 2-2 in American East Conference play.

In NCAA Division II play former Napier Boys High guard Will Dickson has had a couple of good outings for South Dakota School of Mines. Dickson scored 18 points followed by 15 as the aptly named Hardrockers nabbed a win and a loss in Rocky Mountain Conference play.

Plenty of action to look forward to this week with multiple games scheduled for January 2.