Category Archives: College Hoops

Takapuna Grammar headed to Prems

April 4

Takapuna Grammar School, on the back of 40 points from Bailey Flavell, won 71-64 at Carmel College in the play-off for a Premier Grade spot for the 2023 season.

Takapuna, the Senior A champions last season, appeared to be cruising to victory midway through the third period when the led by 17 points, 46-29. However Carmel weren’t going down without a fight and roared back into the contest with a 16-4 run to trail by just 5 points at the three-quarter mark (50-45).

With Ruby Railton dominant in the low post and guards Imogen O’Rourke and Hannah Bellett forcing turnovers Carmel made it a single point game at 57-56 with a shade under five minutes to play to set up a tense finish.

Amy McKenzie eased the Taka nerves with a nice finish and soon after Flavell nailed a corner three to give her team some much needed breathing space.

Railton replied with another inside bucket but Flavell scored six straight to take the Taka lead out to double digits with two minutes to play (69-59).

Mackereth cancelled out another Railton score and although Carmel scored the last four points of the game Takapuna had done enough to secure the win.

Earlier in an understandably nervy start it was Carmel, with Zahara Tibbotts to the fore, that made the better start scoring the first six points of the game.

It took Taka over six minutes to score their first field goal, courtesy of Mackereth and her free throw tied the scores at 13 all at quarter time.

The early stages of the second period were tight before Taka put together a 15-8 run to go into the half-time break with a 35-23 advantage.

Flavell and Mackenzie further increased the lead in the early stages of the third before Carmel embarked on their stirring comeback.

Unfortunately for the hosts it wasn’t quite enough and it’s Takapuna that will play Premier basketball next term with Carmel slotting into Senior A.  

Takapuna 71 – Flavell 40, McKenzie 11, Mackereth 10

Carmel 64 – Railton 23, Bellett 14, O’Rourke 11, Tibbotts 7

The weekend wrap from March Madness

March 20

Ella Bradley at Elite Eight of NCAA Division II Tournament, Charlotte Whittaker our remaining hope in Division I, Junior College Nationals about to begin. It’s fun to follow and record.

All this and more:

Ella Bradley headlines March Madness wrap

March 16

March Madness is set to get hectic over the coming days as over 20 Kiwis take the court in different tournaments.

Check the fixture list in the attached story.

A belated congratulations to former Waikato and St Peter’s School standout Ella Bradley. She and her University of Texas at Tyler team emerged victorious from a titanic struggle against Lubbock Christian to reach the Elite Eight at the NCAA Division II National Championships.

Full story here:

March Madness Update #3

March 5

The Washington State Cougars dream run at the Pac 12 Conference Tournament has carried them all the way to the Grand Final.

Having seen off second seed, and number three ranked team in the nation, Utah in the quarter-finals they powered away from third seed Colorado (that included Charlotte Whittaker) in the fourth quarter to win 61-49. Charlisse Leger-Walker led the WSU scoring with 15 points to go with 3 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal. 

The reward for Washington State is a first ever championship game which will see them match up with UCLA on Monday after they ousted number one seed Stanford in the other semi-final.

Also headed for a first ever grand final are Wofford College. Helen Matthews had 5 points, 5 rebounds and a couple of assists as regular season champions Wofford beat UNC Greensboro to advance to the Southern Conference tournament championship game. Wofford will meet the number two ranked Chattanooga in the final on Sunday, the winner of course advancing to the NCAA Tournament beginning March 15.

Tayla Dalton scored 11 points, claimed 6 rebounds and dished 4 assists while Jade Kirisome, playing her 108th Division I game, made both her 3-point attempts for 6 points as St Mary’s College were beaten 82-77 by Pacific. The second round defeat eliminated St Mary’s from the West Coast Conference Tournament (WCCT).

There was better news from the WCCT with BYU working their way to the semi-finals with a 66-56 win against San Francisco. Arielle Mackey-Williams and Kaylee Smiler combined to make 6 from 7 threes. Mackey-Williams finished with 14 points while Smiler, playing her 101st game for BYU, scored 6 points.

University of California Irvine clinched a share of the Big West Conference regular season title with a 52-44 victory over CSU Bakersfield.

Freshman Akiva McBirney-Griffin, an NBL championship winner with Otago Nuggets in 2021, has enjoyed a solid freshman year earning 8 starts in his 28 appearances.

Flynn Cameron had 16 points and 5 assists as UC Riverside clinched third seed at the Big West Conference Tournament after a 73-72 overtime win at Cal Poly. The 5 assists pushed Cameron up to fifth spot on UCR’s single season record for assists made – he has 108 in 32 games in this campaign.

Older brother Tobias Cameron scored 10 points as Abilene Christian wrapped up Western Athletic Conference regular season play with a 72-54 defeat at the hands of Sam Houston.

Colorado State completed Mountain West regular season fixtures with a 92-84 victory over New Mexico. James Moors with 8 points, on 4 from 5 shooting, plus 5 rebounds in the win.

March Madness Update #2

March 2

Washington State have seen off second seed, and number three ranked team in the nation, Utah 66-58. Charlisse Leger-Walker finished with 15 points making 4 from 7 threes including a clutch effort with 8 seconds to play when WSU’s lead had been trimmed to just three-points.

The reward for Washington State is a semi-final match up with Charlotte Whittaker and the University of Colorado. Whittaker scored 4 points in their 62-54 defeat of Oregon State.

Those 4 points brought up 300 career points for the Cantabrian forward.

Helen Matthews filled the stats line as Southern Conference regular season champions Wofford College beat Western Carolina 71-56. Matthews finished with 11 points, 3 assists, 2 rebounds, a block and a steal in the Southern Conference tournament opening round.

Tayla Dalton scored 12 points and Jade Kirisome 5 points as St Mary’s eased to a 74-43 win against Loyola Marymount in the first round of the West Coast Conference Tournament.

Ashlee Strawbridge scored 8 points as New Mexico State (10-8) rounded out the regular season with a 70-64 win against Sam Houston.

In her 50th NCAA Division I game Grace Hunter scored 7 points as Cal State Bakersfield were defeated 52-46 by Long Beach State.

In NCAA Division II play Ella Bradley claimed 7 rebounds to accompany 11 points as the University of Texas at Tyler beat West Texas A&M 75-54 to reach the semi-finals of the Lone Star Conference Tournament.

Eckerd College bowed out at the semi-final stage of the Sunshine State Conference Tournament. Hannah Wentworth scored 6 points as #2 Eckerd went down 60-52 to #3 Lynn. 

Making a vital free-throw with just 4 seconds left on the clock Marvin Williams-Dunn (3 points) and Ouachita Baptist ousted top seed Southern Nazarene from the Great American Conference Tournament winning 70-67. Nazarene had won 15 games on the bounce and were ranked 11th nationally.

March Madness begins with Leger-Walker on song

March 1

Having been named to the 2023 All-Pac 12 team by both the Pac-12 coaches and the League’s media earlier in the week Charlisse-Leger Walker scored 23 points to ensure Washington State University made a winning start at the Pac 12 Tournament.

WSU beat Cal Berkeley 61-49 and will now match up against second seeds Utah. Leger-Walker’s 16th point in the game carried her past 1,400 career points – becoming the fifth Kiwi after Stella Beck (1,439), Megan Compain (1,497), Akiene-Tera Reed (1,624) and Erin Rooney (1,647) to have reached 1,400 points in NCAA Division I women’s basketball.

In other Pac 12 news Charlotte Whittaker and Colorado, seeded #3, will play the winner of the Oregon State and Southern California first round tie.

Emme Shearer scored 9 points as Portland University Pilots rounded out the regular season with a 61-49 win at BYU. The win was the 15th West Coast Conference victory of the season for Portland – a programme record.

As second seeds at the conference tournament Portland will enjoy a bye straight to the semi-finals.

McKenna Dale scored 4 points and claimed 6 rebounds as Virginia’s season came to an end. The Cavaliers were beaten 68-57 by Wake Forest in the first round of the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament. Dale played in all 30 games as Virginia finished with a 15-15 record.

Sam Mennenga was once again the leading scorer for Davidson College (7-9) as they fell 75-70 to George Washington. Mennenga finished with 23 points (7/11FG, 6/6FT) to go with 8 rebounds and 4 assists. Mennenga now in striking distance of a 500-points season – currently with 460 points to his name.  

In NCAA Division II action Eckerd College are through to the semi-finals of the Sunshine State Conference tournament after dismantling Embry-Riddle 74-51. Hannah Wentworth was a major contributor with 17 points making 5 from 10 threes.

In case you missed the news from earlier in the week:

Wofford College Terriers (10-4) claimed a first ever Southern Conference regular season title with an 82-76 victory over Mercer. Helen Matthews put together an all-action display with 16 points (3/6 3PG), 9 rebounds and a career high 4 blocks in the win.

It’s not just the first title for the Terriers but the first by any women’s team sport at Wofford.

Ben Gold scored 4 points on 2 from 2 shooting as Marquette University Blue Demons pulled away for a 72-56 victory at Butler University. The win clinched Marquette’s first ever outright Big East Conference regular season title.

Given Marquette were picked ninth in the preseason poll it’s a remarkable result for the Blue Demons. Only in his freshman season Gold, a 2022 Tall Black, has been a contributor off the bench in every game. 

In NAIA Division 1 play Nico Hill and Missouri Baptist University clinched back to back American Mid-West Conference titles with a 12-4 record (16-12 overall).

The Taranaki native played all 28 games for the Spartans averaging 7.3 points and 4.4 rebounds per game.

Corey Le’aupepe and Menlo College failed to reach the Golden State Conference play-offs after finishing with a 7-11 record. However the former St Pat’s and Wellington forward had the satisfaction of bringing up 1,000 career points and Menlo in the final month of his collegiate career. He is only the 10th player in the programme’s history to reach the notable milestone.

Gold for Gold and Matthews

There were 9 points, 4 rebounds and a couple of blocks for Ben Gold as Marquette University Blue Demons (15-3) defeated De Paul 90-84. With two games left in the Big East Conference Marquette are guaranteed at least a share of the regular season title – one more victory and they will be outright champions.

It’s Marquette’s second Big East title since joining the conference in 1989 and the first since 2011-12.

Wofford College Terriers (10-4) claimed a first ever Southern Conference regular season title with an 82-76 victory over Mercer. Helen Matthews put together an all-action display with 16 points (3/6 3PG), 9 rebounds and a career high 4 blocks in the win.

It’s not just the first title for the Terriers but the first by any women’s team sport at Wofford.

Back to the men and James Moors made 4 from 8 from the field and 8 out of 9 free-throws in his 16 points as Colorado State (5-11) beat Wyoming 84-71. Moors has a season high 24 points with the 16 points his highest tally in Mountain West Conference play this season.

Kruz Perrott-Hunt and South Dakota enjoyed a monster win to conclude the Summit League regular season. Making 4 from 8 threes KP-H finished with 21 points to pass the 400 points mark for the season.

Sam Mennenga recorded his sixth double-double of the season – adding 11 rebounds to 14 points – as Davidson (7-9) gained a 71-67 win over Duquesne.

Callum McRae scored 13 points and snared 8 rebounds as Sacramento State (6-11) lost a close one at Montana going down 74-72.

Tobias Cameron had 6 points, 5 rebounds and 4 steals as Abilene Christian (5-10) were beaten 66-62 by Utah Valley.


A double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds from Charlisse Leger-Walker wasn’t quite enough to get Washington State (9-9) the win against USC with WSU pipped 68-65 in overtime.

McKenna Dale continued her recent strong form with 14 points, on 6 from 8 shooting, 5 rebounds and 3 assists as Virginia were defeated 85-74 by Miami in its ACC regular season finale.

Emme Shearer scored a baker’s dozen – her 13 points came on 5 from 10 shooting, as  Portland (14-3) fell 74-58 at San Diego. Portland will face BYU in a rearranged fixture to conclude West Coast Conference (WCC) play on Tuesday (NZT).

Arielle Mackey-Williams scored 11 points as BYU (9-8) were defeated 58-51 by WCC leaders Gonzaga.

Also with 11 points (5/8FG) was Grace Hunter as Cal State Bakersfield (3-15) lost 57-44 to Cal State Fullerton.

Tayla Dalton contributed 9 points as St Mary’s College Gaels concluded the West Coast Conference regular season with a 68-53 loss to Pacific.

Amiee Book tallied 7 points as Fresno State fell 73-66 at San Jose State.

Dale dials up a ton & Mennenga a couple of dozen

Playing her 100th NCAA Division I game McKenna Dale scored 12 points as Virginia (4-13) fell 79-69 at Clemson. Prior to Virginia the former Junior Tall Fern played 45 games at Brown in the Ivy League. She has become the 24th Kiwi woman to make 100 Division I appearances.

For the first time in programme history Washington State (9-8) scored a win in Pauley Pavilion, the home of UCLA Bruins. Charlisse Leger-Walker scored 12 points and added 6 rebounds, 4 assists and a couple of blocks as Washington State won 62-55. 

Helen Matthews had a very similar stats line as Wofford (9-4) beat Samford 86-60. The Cantabrian finished with 13 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals.

Grace Hunter scored 11 points as California State Bakersfield (3-13) were beaten 65-52 by Hawaii. It was the seventh double figure outing of the season from the Wellingtonian guard.

Tara Manumaleuga tallied 9 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists as Texas Christian went down to Baylor 67-57.

Dani Bayes produced 8 points and a team high 6 assists as Boise State (11-6) defeated San Jose State 78-70.


Sam Mennenga scored 24 points (9/13FG, 3/4 3PG) as Davidson (6-9) eased past St Bonaventure for a 74-61 win. It was the seventh 20+ score of the season for the former Westlake Boys big man.

Flynn Cameron’s good 3-point shooting form was on display once again as UC Riverside (13-5) easily accounted for California State Northridge with a 96-76 win. Cameron made all four of his three point attempts in his 14 points – that’s 71 from 166 threes on the season at an impressive 42.8%.

Callum McRae scored 14 points on 7 from 10 shooting as Sacramento State (6-10) went down 60-56 to Montana State.

Kruz Perrott-Hunt scored 14 points as South Dakota went down to Summit League leaders Oral Roberts 82-70. 

Milestones for McRae, Mennenga and Cameron

19 February 2023

Another double-double from Callum McRae, his ninth of the season, helped  Sacramento State (6-9) inflict a 70-65 defeat on Idaho State. McRae tallied an impressive 21 points and 15 rebounds and is now just 2 points shy of 1200 career points.

Flynn Cameron dished 5 assists, grabbed 5 rebounds and scored 21 points as UC Riverside Highlanders (11-5) beat UC Santa Barbara 74-63. The 2022 Tall Black took his career tally to 918 points becoming the ninth Kiwi male to reach the 900 NCAA Division I points milestone. In addition he became just the seventh Highlander to log 100 assists in a season.

Sam Mennenga also reached a notable milestone. He scored a team equal best 17 points as Davidson College (5-9) won 76-75 against St Joseph’s. Mennenga was an efficient 5 from 7 from the field and 6 from 8 free throws including the all-important go-ahead freebie with just one second left on the clock.

Mennenga now has 810 career points and up to 10th on the all-time list of New Zealand scorers in Men’s NCAA Division I hoops.

Tafara Gapare scored 11 points and secured 7 rebounds as Massachusetts (4-10) defeated Rhode island 69-45. It was freshman Gapare’s third double figure outing of the season.

Kruz Perrott-Hunt made 4 assists to go with 8 points as South Dakota (6-8) slipped to an 86-68 defeat at Denver.


Tara Manumaleuga made 4 from 8 threes on her way to 16 points as Texas Christian defeated Kansas State 75-62. Manumaleuga had a fine all-court game with 7 rebounds, 4 assists, a block and a steal.

Washington State (8-8) defeated Oregon State 67-57 – Charlisse Leger-Walker with 15 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists. That’s 400 points this season at 18.3ppg for CL-W.

McKenna Dale had a nice stats line of 10 points, 5 rebounds, 3 blocks, 2 steals and an assist as Virginia were pipped 56-52 by Duke.

Emme Shearer scored a team equal best 12 points, and added 3 assists as Portland got the better of Pacific 57-46 to remain second on the West Coast Conference ladder.

Tayla Dalton scored 6 points as West Coast Conference leaders Gonzaga pulled away in the second half to beat St Mary’s 65-51.

Also undone in the West Coast Conference were BYU (9-7) beaten 72-59 by San Francisco. Arielle Mackey-Williams top scored for BYU with 14 points, while Kaylee Smiles tabbed 8 points and 6 rebounds. 

Ashlee Strawbridge scored 7 points as New Mexico State (8-7) slipped to a 73-65 loss to California Baptist.

NCAA Weekend Wrap – Milestones for Book and Matthews

13 February 2023

Amiee Book with 13 points was one of two Fresno State (1-13) players in double figures in a 61-54 loss to Colorado State. Book now has 1,202 career points – 8th all time on the Kiwi list of Division I scorers.

Helen Matthews tallied 9 points (4/7FG) as Wofford (7-3) defeated Western Carolina 83-62. The junior guard now has 500 career points, the seventh Kiwi amongst active players to reach the milestone.

Charlisse Leger-Walker scored 17 points as Washington State were beaten 73-57 at #7 Utah.

Ashlee Strawbridge scored a team high equaling 11 points for New Mexico State (7-6) but it was in a 90-57 thumping at the hands of Utah Tech.

Tayla Dalton scored 9 points and Jade Kirisome 7 as St Mary’s (6-9) overcame Santa Clara for an 89-79 win. Hats off to the St Mary’s administration in recognizing the game as a Waitangi Day celebration.

Next up for St Mary’s is a clash with former Harbour team mate Emme Shearer and Portland.

Grace Hunter, passing 400 NCAA career points in the process, scored 9 points as Cal State Bakersfield (3-12) slipped to a 66-55 loss at the hands of Long Beach State.

BYU snapped a three game losing streak in defeating Loyola Marymount 67-42. There were 9 points for Arielle Mackey-Williams and 6 for Kaylee Smiler in the win.

Dani Bayes scored 8 points as Boise State fell 76-63 to Mountain West Conference leaders UNLV.


Kruz Perrott-Hunt scored 15 points (3/6 3PG) but couldn’t prevent South Dakota (6-8) losing 72-67 to South Dakota State.

A big double-double from Callum McRae, his eighth d-d of the season, helped Sacramento State (6-8) to a convincing 70-54 win against Northern Colorado. McRae finished with 14 points and 16 rebounds.

In a game featuring Kiwis on opposing sides UC Riverside’s Flynn Cameron scored 11 points but UC Irvine’s (9-3) Akiva McBirney-Griffin left with the smile, 4 points (2/2FG) and an 83-64 victory from the Big West Conference clash.

In another game featuring two Kiwis Sam Mennenga scored 9 points for Davidson (4-8) in a narrow 73-71 loss to Fordham (8-4) – Zach Riley with an assist for the victors.

Tobias Cameron tallied 7 points and 4 each in assists and rebounds as Abilene Christian (5-7) slipped to a 77-62 loss to Sam Houston.

No 10 ranked Marquette (12-3) enjoyed an 89-75 win against Georgetown with Ben Gold scoring 7 points on 3 from 5 shooting.