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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.