Category Archives: Kiwi’s Abroad

Three out of five Tall Ferns in WNBL play-offs

Kalani

Three out of five ain’t bad.

The Australian Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) play-off’s begin next week with three of the teams contesting the semi-finals featuring current Tall Ferns players.

Penina Davidson in her first season as a professional since graduating from the University of California Berkeley, is in the Adelaide Lightning lineup.

Adelaide, coached by former Tall Ferns assistant coach Chris Lucas, return to the play-offs for the first time since 2013 and after finishing third in the regular season will face second placed Melbourne Boomers in one semi.

penina davidson copy 4

Current Tall Ferns Head Coach Guy Molloy is the Melbourne mentor and has Tall Ferns forward Kalani Purcell to lead his team’s defensive effort. Purcell is in her second season with the Boomers and leads the team in steals (1.5spg) and is second in rebounding (5.5rpg).

The first game of the best-of-three series is in Melbourne on Sunday January 27.

Toni Farnworth, like Purcell a Commonwealth Games silver medalist, captains the Perth Lynx that are appearing in a fourth straight semi-final. The experienced Farnworth and the Lynx are bidding to win their first championship.

Perth will face regular season champions Canberra Capitals with the opening game in Canberra on Friday January 25.

The Townsville Fire duo of Stella Beck and Micaela Cocks finished the season on a positive note with a 90-82 victory against Sydney Flames. Beck, promoted to the starting five, scored 10 points to accompany 5 assists, 2 rebounds and 2 steals. The win was not enough to carry the defending champions back to the play-offs, the Fire finishing fifth with a 10-12 record.

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Kiwi v Kiwi – Reed v Nicholls

The Virginia Commonwealth University Rams versus La Salle University Explorers Atlantic-10 match up featured good mates Akiene-Tera Reed and Michelle Nicholls in opposition.

The pair spent their last two high school years together at Life Centre Academy in New Jersey before securing scholarships at their respective NCAA Division I universities.

Reed is again leading the Rams scoring this season (averaging 13.2 points per game) and against La Salle scored a team high 12 points as VCU secured an emphatic 68-38 win.

Nicholls (second on the La Salle scoring list this season averaging 7.7ppg) came up with 5 points, 2 rebounds and 2 steals in 25 minutes for La Salle but it was a disappointing night for the Explorers who gave up a colossal 34 turnovers.

Reed will face more Kiwi opposition next week when VCU travel to the Bronx to face Fordham University who have Mary Goulding, Kendell Heremaia and Zara Jillings in their lineup.

 

200th appearance ends in disappointment for Micaela Cocks

micaela copy

The Australian Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) title defence is over for Micaela Cocks and Townsville Fire.

Cocks had a three-point attempt rim out to try and force overtime in the 77-72 loss to Dandenong but ultimately her 200thappearance for the Fire ended in disappointment.

The acting captain finished with 14 points (5/10FG) but ultimately her effort, and that of Stella Beck (4 points), were not enough.

It wasn’t a good weekend for another Kiwi skipper though. Toni Farnworth and Perth Lynx were beaten 64-59 in Melbourne by the Boomers. Farnworth’s shooting touch has deserted her of late and she went zero from five in this one.

Kalani Purcell doesn’t need to score too many points to influence a game and again the Tall Ferns forward played a key role for Melbourne despite scoring just three points.  She pulled down a team high 10 rebounds, a team best 3 steals and dished 4 assists in a typical all court display.

The two teams will meet again, this time in Perth, on Thursday.

Adelaide Lightning maintained fourth spot on the WNBL ladder with an 110-61 dismantling of Sydney. Penina Davidson scored in double figures for the Lightning adding 5 rebounds to 13 points (4/8FG).

 

WNBL Ladder:

13-5 Canberra Capitals

13-5 Melbourne Boomers

11-7 Perth Lynx

11-7 Adelaide Lightning

8-10 Dandenong Rangers

7-11 Townsville Fire

7-11 Bendigo Spirit

2-16 Sydney Flames

Fotu and Ulm progress in EuroCup

ratiopharm ulm vs. ALBA Berlin, esayCredit Basketball Bundesliga, Basketball, 30.09.2017

 Photo: Langer/Eibner-Pressefoto

Ratiopharm Ulm are on a three game winning stretch in the EuroCup following a 70-63 win against fellow German side Fraport Skyliners Frankfurt. Isaac Fotu’s contribution was 6 points and 6 rebounds including four at the offensive end.

Back to back wins in December carried Ulm out of section play with a 5 win-5 loss record and into the final sixteen.

They now find themselves in Group D and will need to finish in the top two to progress to the quarter-finals. The two German clubs are joined in the group by Russian club Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar and French side Asvel Villeurbanne. The opening win against Frankfurt in the group is a welcome boost to Ulm’s chances of a spot in the last eight.

Tai Webster and his Turkish club Galatasaray failed to progress to the EuroCup last 16 after finishing with a 3-7 record in initial pool play. They will now focus on the Turkish League where they currently sit fifth on the table with a 7-5 record.

Early Xmas for Nisbett, West and McGoldrick

In NCAA Division I Women’s action Amy West, Tsubasa Nisbett and Esra McGoldrick were each given early Xmas presents in the last few days.

Tsubasa Nisbett was awarded her first appearance of the season by Georgia Southern University Eagles. The Eagles swooped on Coastal Georgia winning 68-46 to improve to 4-5 for the season with the Nisbett corralling a couple of rebounds to mark her debut.

Fellow Cantabrian Esra McGoldrick scored her first points in North Carolina State colours, scoring a pair of  baskets as the Wolfpack hounded Maine into submission winning 84-46. The Wolfpack are now 11-0 for the season.

Amy West also scored the first 4 points of her collegiate career for Liberty University Flames last Friday. Unfortunately the Flames were burnt by a buzzer beating three going down 66-63 against East Carolina. The Manawatu Freshman scored from two of her three scoring attempts.

The three Kiwis on the Fordham University roster were prominent as the Rams enjoyed a convincing 69-48 win against Columbia University.

Mary Goulding scored 14 points and added 4 rebounds whilst Kendell Heremaia had a trio of 4’s striking that number in points, rebounds and assists.

Zara Jillings totalled a career high equalling 8 rebounds to go with 6 points (3/5FG) and 3 assists.

Akiene-Tera Reed equalled her best points haul of the season scoring 20 points (3/7FG, 14/16FT) but it wasn’t enough to prevent Virginia Commonwealth going down 54-49 against Radford. Reed also snared 6 rebounds for the Rams.

Cal State Fullerton Titans gave Amiee Book her first start of the season and the freshman guard didn’t disappoint knocking down 3 of her 5 shots from beyond the arc in a 77-65 win against Antelope Valley. That makes 19 made threes for Book from 38 shots in the first ten games of the season at a more than healthy 50%.

It took an overtime period before Northern Colorado Bears secured the win against Chattanooga but they prevailed eventually winning 68-65. Krystal leger-Walker was her usual stats stuffing self – finishing with 5 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals.

Sophmore Michelle Nicholls scored 10 points (4/8FG) but La Salle University slipped to a ninth defeat in ten games going down 83-57 to St John’s.

Mate v Mate, Tall Fern v Tall Fern

stella v toni

Stella Beck looks to drive past Toni Farnworth

There were a couple of editions of mate v mate, Tall Fern v Tall Fern, over the weekend in the Australian Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL).

Toni Farnworth filled the stats line for Perth Lynx in their visit to Townsville Fire on Friday but the Lynx were torched by the Fire 97-72. Farnworth only made 2 points but came up with a game high 6 assists to accompany 6 rebounds a block and a steal as she filled most of the stats categories.

Micaela Cocks is in hot form for the Fire at the moment and she came up with 14 points (4/8 3PG) and 4 assists whilst Stella Beck also chipped in with a couple of points for Townsville.

Over 2,000 home fans saw Melbourne Boomers come from behind to beat Adelaide Lightning 83-78 with Tall Ferns forward Kalani Purcell her normal vibrant self – 6 points, 5 rebounds, a steal and a block.

Penina Davidson, in her debut season for Adelaide, had a couple of points and a pair of rebounds as the Lightnings five game winning streak came to an end. The win lifts Melbourne past Perth to the top of the WNBL ladder.

WNBL Ladder (at 17.12.18)

10-5 Melbourne Boomers

9-5 Perth Lynx

8-5 Canberra Capitals

8-7 Adelaide Lightning

7-6 Dandenong Rangers

6-7 Townsville Fire

6-9 Bendigo Spirit

2-12 Sydney Flames

Webster exits EuroCup but Fotu fights on

 

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Tai Webster scored 18 points (6/13FG, 6/7FT) for his Turkish club Galatasaray on Wednesday night but it wasn’t enough to stave off elimination from the EuroCup.

Galatasaray needed a win at Group A leaders AS Monaco but fell 76-71 and with a 3-6 record are eliminated from the EuroCup with one round of games still to play.

Still alive are Isaac Fotu and his German club Ratiopharm Ulm. With a 4-5 record Ulm travel to Italy next week to meet Brescia – the winners of the tie will grab the one remaining place available from Group A to progress to the last sixteen.

In Tuesday night’s game Ulm defeated Morabanc Andorra 88-80 to keep their hopes of progressing from group-play alive. Ulm coach Thorston Leibenath used his players sparingly with nine players logging between 14 minutes and 21 minutes. Fotu played just 14 minutes checking out with 2 points, 2 rebounds an assist and a steal.

In German League action Ulm, after a poor start losing five of their first six games, have won three games on the bounce and are up to ninth on the Bundesliga ladder with a 4-5 record.

In the Turkish League Galatasaray are sixth on the table with a 5-4 record after an 86-76 win against Banvit BK last weekend.

Jack Salt and Virginia a perfect nine from nine

Jack Salt

Jack Salt and Virginia University Cavaliers are a perfect nine from nine after defeating Virginia Commonwealth 57-49 on Sunday. Jack only had a single points but did pull down 7 boards. Depending on which poll you view Virginia are currently ranked between #3 and #6 nationally.

Vanderbilt University Commodores enjoyed a comfortable 79-51 win against Middle Tennessee to improve to 6-2 for the season. Yanni Wetzel benefitted from 17 minutes court time making 5 points, 3 rebounds, a pair of steals, an assist and a block.

Eight points (4/6FG) and 4 rebounds from Callum McRae helped University of California Riverside Highlanders break a three game losing slide. The Highlanders squeezed past Pepperdine to improve to 3-7 for the season and will enjoy a ten day break before their next outing.

Yuat Alok scored 7 points as Texas Christian University thumped University of California 96-61 at the Staples Centre in the Basketball Hall of Fame Classic. TCU boast a 7-1 start to the season.

St Mary’s Gaels had little trouble seeing off New Mexico winning 85-60 with Quinn Clinton making one of two threes and Dan Fotu dishing 3 assists to accompany a quartet of points and boards. The Gaels (7-4) followed that with a fourth straight win defeating California State Fullerton 81-66. Fotu claimed a game high equalling 3 offensive boards, snaring six rebounds in total, along with 5 points.

Izayah Le’afa added 3 steals to 9 points but the sophomore guard didn’t have the best of shooting nights as Sacramento State Hornets fell 76-67 at Portland. Le’afa made just 3 from 12 from the field but the Hornets still boast a 4-2 record this season.

Sam Timmins came up with 4 points, 3 rebounds and a block to help Washington Huskies get the win, 70-62, at Seattle on Sunday. Washington now 7-3 for the season.

Career night for Michelle Nicholls the highlight of Kiwi women’s performances in the States

Michelle Nicholls

Career high for Michelle Nicholls

Michelle Nicholls and Akiene-Tera Reed were teammates at Life Centre Academy, New Jersey during their final two years of high school. Both secured NCAA Division 1 scholarships following their time at LCA with Reed grabbing most the headlines for her scoring feats at Virginia Commonwealth University over the last season and a half. However, it was Nicholls turn to shine at the weekend as her all-round performance carried La Salle University Explorers to their first win of the season.

Nicholls had to bide her time last year getting little opportunity during her freshman season. However playing time has increased this season and the additional playing experience helped her put together an outstanding stats line to help La Salle claim that first win after eight straight losses. Nicholls scored a career high 17 points to accompany 4 assists, 3 rebounds and 3 steals in 30 minutes of action as the Explorers beat Norfolk State 76-65.

Reed produced an efficient shooting display (5/8FG, 6/6FT) but her 16 points were not enough to get VCU Rams across the line at Cincinnati going down 66-54 – the Rams still boast a 6-4 record ahead of a week off.

In other news from NCAA Division 1 hoops 13 points (3/5 3PG) from guard Kayla Manirirangi helped Tulane University Green Wave make it seven wins from the first eight games with a 71-46 win over Nicholls University.

The win was a remarkable 500thfor Tulane Head Coach Lisa Stockton in her 25thseason leading Tulane.

Mary Goulding threatened a double-double in the Fordham University Rams 65-52 loss at Pittsburgh. In addition to 8 points Goulding secured 9 rebounds (4 at the offensive end) and distributed a game high 5 assists. Kendell Heremaia chipped in with 9 points– the Rams now 5-5 for the season.

Amiee Book set new college highs in steals and rebounds as Cal State Fullerton Titans came away from a trip across country to New York with a 61-58 victory over Columbia. Book snared a game high 5 steals, to go with 7 boards and 7 points.

aimee book

Amiee Book

Tegan Graham scored 6 points as Colgate University Raiders stole a 61-52 road win against University of Massachusetts Lowell to improve to 4-4 for the season. The Wellingtonian hit 2 from 5 threes.

Also scoring half a dozen but in a losing cause was Shalae Salmon as BYU were defeated 78-67 by Utah.

Rotorua native Matangiroa Flavell scored a season best 4 points for Houston Baptist but the Huskies fell 100-75 at North Texas.

Penina Davidson spoils Micaela Cocks’ special night

Micaela Cocks

Micaela Cocks

Tall Fern Micaela Cocks has been appointed captain, at least in the short term, of Townsville Fire, three-tim Australian Women’s Basketball League champions.

The  long-time Tall Ferns guard captained the club in the absence of Suzy Batkovic in Friday night’s encounter with Adelaide Lightning.

Since joining the club in 2011/12, the Kiwi Olympian has represented the Fire on 193 occasions – second behind Rachael McCully (228) on the club’s all-time games’ list – and has played a key role in their championship successes.

Despite scoring a team high 17 points Cocks first outing as captain ended in disappointment as Townsville were defeated 85-70 on their home court by Adelaide. Stella Beck, in her first season out of St Mary’s College scored 4 points for the Fire but it was another New Zealand rookie-pro, Penina Davidson, that inflicted major damage on Cocks and her colleagues.

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Penina Davidson

The former Cal Berkeley stand-out came up big for Adelaide posting 14 points (6/11FG), her best return of the season to date, and snared 5 rebounds.

Cocks added two assists and a pair of steals but it wasn’t enough for the Fire that slip to a 5-7 record. Just over half-way through the season the Fire are in need of some winning momentum but it doesn’t get any easier for them as next up they face Toni Farnworth and the table topping Perth Lynx (9-2).

Adelaide, after a fourth straight win, sit fourth on the WNBL ladder with a 7-6 record.

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