Monthly Archives: March 2022

Waardenburg and Miami still Dancing

Sam Waardenburg produced an outstanding performance as Miami University Hurricanes defeated Iowa State 70-56 in an NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 match-up in Chicago.

The former Junior Tall Black finished with 13 points (5/9FG), a team high 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 blocks and a steal in 35 minutes of high quality basketball.

The result means10th seeded Miami advance to the Elite 8, at the ‘Big Dance’, for the first time in programme history where they will face a number one seed Kansas for a spot in the semi-finals. 

“Iowa State’s a great team we knew they were going to come out and pressure us. We had the most turnovers we’ve had this tournament but we kept our identity and forced 18 turnovers as well. We did a great job executing the game plan,” said Waardenburg.

“It’s the energy from the bench and the energy from these guys that really swings you,” Waardenburg said of his teammates.

“They’ve been amazing and they’ve been like this all season long.”

Miami’s run in the play-offs means that we have Kiwi representation in the quarter-finals of the Men’s NCAA Division I Championship for the first time since Jack Salt and the University of Virginia Cavaliers won the title in 2019.

The one-time Rangitoto College and Harbour standout eclipsed 700 points and reached 500 rebounds at Miami, scoring in double figures for the 13th time this season and the 25th time in his four-year collegiate career.

Waardenburg now has 706 career points and keen to add more in the quarter-final tie against Kansas tomorrow.

Madness latest

Men’s NCAA Division I National Championship, Second Round

Dan Fotu and St Mary’s College Gaels were defeated 72-56 by UCLA Bruins. The West Coast Conference runners-up had few answers for the superior Bruins in the second half, outscored 36-27. In his 120th and final collegiate game Fotu had a single rebound.

Also bundled out in the second round were Yuat Alok and New Mexico State Aggies edged by Arkansas 53-48. The former Rangitoto College forward claimed a rebound and a free throw for the Aggies.

Miami (Sam Waardenburg) and Texas Christian (Harrison Young) play their second round ties tomorrow. 

Women’s NCAA Division I National Championship, First Round

New Zealand’s interest in the Women’s NCAA Tournament ended abruptly with first round defeats for both Washington State and Brigham Young (BYU) despite the best efforts of their Kiwi connections.

Tegan Graham had 11 points, 8 rebounds and 2 assists, while Kaylee Smiler scored with her only shot as BYU were pipped 61-57 by Villanova. Tegan’s final tally of 153 games is a New Zealand record for the number of NCAA Division I appearances.

Krystal and Charlisse Leger-Walker carried a heavy load for Washington State University (WSU) as the Cougars went down 50-40 against Kansas State – the Waikato duo scoring all but eleven of the Cougars points. 

Krystal finished with 9 points and 5 rebounds whilst Charlisse scored a game high 20 points, setting a WSU record for the most points in an NCAA Tournament game in the process.

In what turned out to be her final collegiate game Krystal, in a rarity for her, had zero assists. That meant her amazing sequence of making an assist in every game she had played since January 2018 came to an end – the streak finishing at 94 games!  

Women’s NAIA National Championship

The quest of Rocky Mountain College to secure a semi-final berth at the NAIA National Championships came up agonisingly short as they were edged 60-58 by Thomas More University. Former Waikato and St Peter’s School, Cambridge forward Dominique Stephens scored 9 points and added 4 rebounds. 

Freshman Stephens played her part in the historic run of Rocky Mountain. They have won their first NAIA Tournament games, won their first share of the Frontier Conference regular season title and their first Frontier Conference Tournament Championship, since 1988. 

Women’s Basketball Invitational

St Mary’s College Gaels reached the final of the Women’s Basketball Invitational after defeating Bowling Green University 76-67 in the semi-finals.

Tayla Dalton added 2 assists and a block to 10 points (4/6FG) while Amy West snared a season high 11 rebounds to go with a couple of points.

NJCAA (Junior College) National Championships Second Round

Izzy Cook, Rashaan Smith and Western Nebraska College are through to the Final Four of the Junior College National Championships after Western Nebraska claimed a 63-51 quarter-final victory over South Plains.

Western Nebraska will meet Tyler College in the Championship semi-final tomorrow.

March Madness latest – Waardenburg and Miami advance

Men’s NCAA Division I National Championship, First Round

Miami University Hurricanes scraped past USC Trojans 68-66. Sam Waardenburg added 4 points and 3 rebounds to a career high 4 blocks. It needed two free-throws, with three seconds left on the clock, for the Hurricanes to seal the win and book themselves a second round match-up against second seed Auburn.

Sam Mennenga made 3 from 5 from beyond the arc in totalling 15 points but Davidson Wildcats came up just short against Michigan State downed 74-73. Mennenga also tallied 5 rebounds, an assist and a block for the Atlantic-10 regular season champions.

Harrison Young and TCU are through to the second round after the Horned Frogs comfortably beat Seton Hall 69-42.

Women’s NCAA Division I National Championship, First Round

Charlotte Whittaker and Colorado University bowed out in the first round after an 84-74 defeat at the hands of Creighton. 

Women’s National Invitational Tournament, First Round

The curtain has come down on the fabulous collegiate career of Kendell Heremaia after Fordham University were defeated 71-64 by Bucknell in the first round of the WNIT. Heremaia had 10 points, 7 rebounds and 2 assists in the defeat. The former Waikato and St Peter’s School, Cambridge standout finishes her time at Fordham with 1,291 points and 796 rebounds in 145 appearances – 117 of those as a starter.

Emme Shearer and Portland Pilots got the better of Jess Moors and Colorado State in the battle between two former Harbour and Westlake teammates. Shearer had a game high 3 steals along with 2 points, 4 rebounds and a block.

UCLA were too good for UC Irvine winning 61-48. Olivia Williams tallied 4 points, 2 rebounds an assist and a steal for Irvine.

Houston Baptist 51 (Lauryn Mapusua 2 rebounds)  Toledo 61

Women’s Basketball Invitational

St Mary’s Gaels defeated Austin Peay 77-69 in the quarter-final of the Women’s Basketball Invitational. Tayla Dalton had 7 points and a brace each of rebounds and assists while Amy West contributed 4 points and a pair of rebounds. 

In the semi-finals tomorrow St Mary’s will take on Bowling Green University.

NJCAA (Junior College) National Championships Second Round

Izzy Cook, Rashaan Smith and Western Nebraska College eased through to the quarter-finals of the Championships with a 70-59 victory over Wabash Valley. Western Nebraska sealed the win with a dominant 20-11 fourth quarter.

It wasn’t such good news for Southern Idaho as they were defeated 75-49 by Trinity Valley.

Kyra Paniora had deuces in points, rebounds and assists with Ashlee Strawbridge severely hampered by foul trouble finishing with a rebound and an assist.

Strawbridge will now prepare for her imminent move to Division I school, University of Missouri-Kansas City.

March Madness moves into full swing

The former Rangitoto College duo of Dan Fotu and Yuat Alok have advanced to the second round of the Men’s NCAA Division I Championship on the first full day proper of the tournament.

All the news is right here:

In addition Dominique Stephens and Rocky Mountain College Battlin’ Bears are through to the quarter-finals of the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) Women’s Basketball National Championship. Rocky beat Wayland Baptist 66-53 with the former Waikato forward leading the rebounding count with 8 boards to accompany 8 points, 2 assists and a block.

The Battlin Bears will face Thomas Moore in the last 8 on March 19.

March Madness – latest news and upcoming games

Taine Murray had a couple of points and a pair of rebounds as Virginia University Cavaliers beat Mississippi State 60-57 in the opening round of the NIT (National Invitation Tournament). Virginia will play North Texas in the second round.

In Canada Cantabrian guard Sofia Kennedy tallied 3 rebounds and 2 points as Windsor University Lancers were defeated 77-67 by Guelph University Gryphons in the quarter-finals of the Ontario University Athletics Conference Tournament.

Izzy Cook, Rashaan Smith and Western Nebraska Cougars are through to the Second Round of the Women’s s NJCAA (Junior College) National Championships after the Cougars beat Murray State 71-59. Smith claimed 3 rebounds, 2 blocks and a made free throw.

The Cougars will next play Wabash Valley in the Second Round.

Yesterday Nate Wilson and South Georgia Tech Jets were eliminated 88-80 by #14 South Plains in the First Round of the Men’s NJCAA (Junior College) National Championships. Nate had 3 rebounds and an assist in the loss.

Upcoming Games:

NCAA Division I National Championships First Round

March 17

St Mary’s Gaels (Dan Fotu and Quinn Clinton) v Wyoming/Indiana

Colorado State (James Moors) v Michigan

New Mexico State (Yuat Alok) v UConn

March 18

Davidson (Sam Mennenga) v Michigan State

TCU (Harrison Young) v Seton Hall

Miami (Sam Waardenburg) v USC

Colorado (Charlotte Whittaker) v Creighton

March 19 

Washington State (Charlisse and Krystal Leger-Walker) v Kansas State

BYU (Tegan Graham, Kaylee Smiler and Arielle Mackey- Williams) v Villanova

NIT (National Invitation Tournament) Second Round

March 19 or 20 

Virginia (Taine Murray) v North Texas

WNIT (Women’s National Invitation Tournament) First Round

March 17

Wofford (Helen Matthews) at Middle Tennessee

March 18

Houston Baptist (Lauryn Mapusua) at Toledo

UC Irvine (Olivia Williams) at UCLA

Fordham (Kendell Heremaia) v Bucknell

Portland (Emme Shearer) v Colorado State (Jess Moors).

Women’s Basketball Invitational

March 18

St Mary’s Gaels (Tayla Dalton and Amy West) v Austin Peay

Men’s Basketball Invitational

March 20

Abilene Christian (Tobias Cameron) v Troy

NAIA Round of 16

March 17

Rocky Mountain (Dominique Stephens) v Wayland Baptist  

Junior College National Championships First Round

March 17

Casper College (Dejaan Schuler) v Hutchinson 

Junior College National Championships Second Round

March 18

Southern Idaho (Kyra Paniora, Ashlee Strawbridge) v Trinity Valley or Walters State

Western Nebraska( Izzy Cook, Rashaan Smith) v Wabash Valley

Alok locked for NCAA Tournament

New Mexico State University Aggies are the Western Athletic Conference Champions after defeating Abilene Christian 66-52 in the Championship game.

The result means that Yuat Alok is the first Kiwi to be declared a starter at next week’s NCAA Tournament. The former Rangitoto College standout scored 2 points for the Aggies while Tobias Cameron had 4 points and a team high 5 rebounds for Abilene. 

The other Kiwi that could join Alok with an automatic berth is Sam Mennenga. After a team high 15 points in the quarters Mennenga produced a more sedate 4 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists performance as Davidson College eased into the Atlantic 10 Conference Final with an 84-69 win against St Louis – a win in the final would clip Davidson’s ticket for the Big Dance.

In Women’s NCAA Division I action #2 seed UC Irvine had to settle for runners-up spot at the Big West Conference Tournament after being defeated  59-48 in the Grand Final by top seed Hawaii. Freshman guard  Olivia Williams had a couple of rebounds in that one.

Selection Sunday takes place tomorrow when we will learn which other Kiwis will be headed to the NCAA Tournament.

Following a first round win against Teinhardt University Rocky Mountain College pulled away from Dakota State to win their second round tie 89-73 at the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) Women’s National Championship. Waikato’s Dominique Stephens finished with 5 points, 3 rebounds, all at the offensive end, a block and a steal as Rocky advance to the Round of 16.

Dallas Baptist University returned to the NCAA Division II National Championships for the fifth straight year but had to take on Black Hills State without centre Will Heather. The former Rosmini College National Championship winner has had to undergo surgery for a  lingering back injury. DBU struggled without their influential big man and were defeated 76-68.

Former Harbour guard Hannah Wentworth was New Zealand’s sole representative at the Women’s NCAA Division II National Championships but she and her Eckerd College teammates couldn’t repeat the heroics of their first round victory against Florida Southern. Wentworth made 4 from 5 from deep on her way to 15 points in that one but came up short in the 73-48 second round loss to Union University making 9 points plus pairs of rebounds, assists and steals.

Yuat Alok and Tobias Cameron meet in conference final

Former Rangitoto College big man Yuat Alok had 6 points (3/6FG) as top seed New Mexico State squeezed past Grand Canyon 75-70 in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) semi-finals. 

On the other side of the WAC draw 18 points (4/8FG, 10/11FT) from Tobias Cameron helped Abilene Christian edge Seattle 78-76 The result means either Cameron or Alok will be headed to the NCAA Tournament depending on the outcome of the Grand Final between their respective teams.

In the Atlantic 10 Conference quarter-final, Sam Mennenga’s Davidson College proved too good for Zach Riley’sFordham University Rams winning 74-56. Mennenga led the Davidson effort with 15 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists while Riley scored 5 points and added 4 rebounds for Fordham.

Top seed Davidson take on St Louis in semi-final action.

Miami University caused one of the upsets of the season when they defeated Number 1 ranked Duke in Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) regular season play. Miami couldn’t quite repeat the feat at the ACC semi-finals beaten  80-76 by the Blue Devils. Sam Waardenburg had 8 points, 7 assists, 3 rebounds and a couple of blocks in the defeat.

James Moors and second seeded Colorado State University Rams  were beaten 63-58 by third seed San Diego State in the Mountain West Conference semi-finals.

Harrison Young and Texas Christian University were defeated 75-62 the semi-final of the Big 12 Conference Tournament.

Wentworth, Stephens and Williams with the W’s

It has been a successful day for the three Kiwi women in action today at March Madness – three competitions three winners!

Hannah Wentworth is New Zealand’s sole representative at the Women’s NCAA Division II National Championships and she played a strong hand as Eckerd College dominated the second half to defeat Florida Southern 69-64. Wentworth, shooting over 40% this season from beyond the arc, exceeded that mark by knocking down 4 from 5 from deep on her way to 15 points.

Also flying a lone flag for New Zealand is Dominique Stephens at the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) Women’s Basketball National Championship. Rocky Mountain College hosted Teinhardt University in the opening round of the 64 team Championship and with Stephens grabbing 4 rebounds and making a couple of blocks came away 63-44 winners. 

In NCAA Division I Women’s play UC Irvine needed overtime to overcome UC Davis before prevailing 84-75 in the semi-final of the Big West Conference Tournament. Olivia Williams, recently named to the Big West All-Freshman Team, scored 4 points with her team now just one win away from an automatic berth at the NCAA Tournament. 

When were the Breakers last able to put a full team on court?

If, as indicated on the Breakers social media posts, they field a full compliment of rostered players against Adelaide 36ers later today it will be the first time they have been able to do so in 18 games this season.

In fact it will be the first time a full contingent of players have hit the floor since May 1st 2021 when the Breakers beat Perth Wildcats 86-84, in Tasmania – 29 games ago! 

Off the back of three consecutive double-doubles, while way with the Tall Blacks at the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers, Rob Loe was given a start against the Tasmanian Jack Jumpers. Significantly his 12 points more than doubled his scoring output for the season – in his previous 8 games (albeit with limited playing time) he had scored 11 points.

Perhaps more significantly Tom Abercrombie made a welcome return to the playing roster against Brisbane Bullets. Abercrombie only had 3 rebounds and a point but he did get a valuable 12 minutes game time under his belt.

In the same game Rasmus Bach played his 50th game for the club.

The Breakers leading scorers this season are:

Yanni Wetzell – 220 points @ 16.9ppg

Hugo Besson – 216 points @ 14.4ppg

Finn Delany 179 points @ 10.5ppg

Peyton Siva 151 points @12.6ppg

Finn Delany has moved up a place on a couple of the Breakers all-time records categories recently.

Delany is now up to 10th spot on the Breakers scoring list moving past Gary Wilkinson’s 1,423 points. With 1,437 career points Delany will soon move to ninth, the place currently occupied by Ben Pepper (1,451 points).

Currently with 681 rebounds Delany is also closing in on 700 career rebounds. Only Vukona (2356), Abercrombie (1,638), Pledger (1,293), Boucher (939), Pepper (935) and Jackson (749) have bettered that mark for the club.

Wins and losses from another big day of college hoops

Miami University Hurricanes edged Boston College 71-69 in overtime in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) quarter-finals. Sam Waardenburg had a valuable double of 9 points and 9 rebounds, including the defensive board with five seconds remaining to help set up the winning play, particularly important.

Not joining Miami in the ACC semis are Taine Murray and Virginia after the Cavaliers were comfortably beaten 63-43 by North Carolina.

Tobias Cameron grabbed a team high 7 rebounds to accompany 6 points and 4 assists as Abilene Christian University upset Stephen F Austin University 76-62in the quarter-finals of the Western Athletic Conference.

It wasn’t such good news for brother Flynn Cameron as UC Riverside fell agonisingly short against Hawaii pipped 68-67 in the Big West Conference quarters.

Cameron scored 17 points making 5 from 9 three-pointers while Callum McRae tallied 6 points, 6 rebounds and a couple of blocks.

Zach Riley scored 6 points as Fordham Rams defeated George Mason in the Atlantic 10 play-offs. The win sets up a meeting with Sam Mennenga’s Davidson College in the semi-finals tomorrow.

Second seeded Colorado State University Rams were made to fight all the way before overcoming #7 Utah State 53-51 in a Mountain West Conference Quarter-Final. James Moors had 4 points, 3 rebounds and a block for the Rams.

Harrison Young and Texas Christian upset #22 Texas 65-60 to progress to the semi-final of the Big 12 Conference Tournament.

Not such good news for Texas Christian Women. They fell in the first round of the Big 12 Conference Tournament defeated 68-48 by West Virginia. Junior guard Tara Manumaleuga grabbed 3 rebounds and a couple of steals in the defeat.