NCAA Men: Naar and Landale ensure Gaels stay unbeaten
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While all the focus was on Ben Simmons’ 43 point, 14 rebound, 7 assist, 5 steal and 3 blocked shot outing for LSU in their 119-108 win against North Florida, a number of other Aussie men were also in fine form this past week.
Saint Mary’s steamrolled Cal State Bakersfield 59-94 with point guard Emmett Naar again leading the way. Once again displaying his scoring ability, he collected a game-high 17 points with 4 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 steals to continue an outstanding season to date. Big man Jock Landale added 14 points and 4 rebounds off the bench in a game where all 5 Aussies got on the floor.
The Gael’s unbeaten start to the season was extended thanks to a 67-81 win against UC Davis. While Naar was again very good in providing 10 points, 4 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 steals, Landale stepped up with a new career-high 15 points on 6/7 shooting with 3 rebounds on just 16 minutes. He received great support off the bench from Kyle Clark who chimed in with 10 points (3/5 3PT), 6 rebounds, 1 steal and 1 block.
6’10 senior forward Majok Deng enjoyed a career week across two wins. In Louisiana Monroe’s 64-54 win over Chattanooga, Deng matched his career-high in points with 22 on 8/17 shooting. He delivered when the Warhawks needed it the most, including the slam dunk that sealed the win. He also posted 6 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 block in the good win.
Deng would back up even better in their Sun Belt Conference opener against Louisiana Lafayette. He was simply dominant, going 8/14 from the field, including 3/5 from the three-point line, and 11/13 from the charity stripe on his was to a new career-best 30 points. It was the 4th time he had scored more than 20 points and this time he also added 8 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal and 1 blocked shot. We can be sure that it will not be the last big performance from the South Australian this season.
Venky Jois went close to a triple-double in Eastern Washington’s narrow 71-77 loss to South Dakota. He delivered 8 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 blocks in the loss. While Felix Von Hofe only added 8 points in that win, he would bounce back with a 20 point effort in a 81-77 victory against San Francisco. Von Hofe was on fire, making 8/11 shots including 4/7 from long-range with 2 rebounds, 1 steal and 1 block. Jois chimed in with 11 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocks.
George Blagojevic’s rise continues as he piled on a new career-high 24 points in Hartford’s 74-67 loss to St Francis (Brooklyn). He went 9/15 from the field and collected 6 rebounds with 3 assists and 3 steals in the tough loss. Unfortunately the losing streak continued with losses against #23 Providence (89-66) and Dartmouth (74-65). However Blagojevic did his best to halt the slide, adding 10 and 12 points respectively in both losses.
After going three straight games in scoring in single figures, Anthony Drmic broke out for 24 points in Boise State’s 81-71 win against Portland. He connected on 4/10 from downtown with 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 steal as he played a key role in the win. Nick Duncan continued his outstanding season, piling on 16 points 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal and 2 blocks.
Like Drmic, Peter Hooley also went three games without being able to score in double digits. However he broke out of his lean patch to post a very important 20 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists in Albany’s thrilling 88-84 overtime win against Holy Cross. It was team mate Mike Rowley who made a layup with 1 second left to force the extra period. Hooley then stepped up again in overtime to nail the three-point dagger to keep the Great Danes ahead for good. Rowley was 1 rebound shy of a double-double, scoring a season-high 16 points with 9 rebounds and 1 blocked shot.
Matt Donlan continued his emergence at Youngstown State with an 18 point outing in a 65-58 win against Robert Morris. He shot an impressive 5/11 from beyond the arc and also gathered 5 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal in the solid win. This performance was followed by a 12 point and 4 rebound effort in a 60-56 loss to American.
With a 19 point, 4 rebound and 1 block performance, Xavier Cooks helped Winthrop to a 83-82 win against Charleston Southern to win their opening Big South Conference game. He would follow up with 10 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 block in the Eagles’ 70-74 win over Presbyterian College to improved to 2-0 in conference play.
Playing a role off the bench for Santa Clara, Kai Healy contributed a new career-high 14 points with 7 rebounds and 3 assists as the Broncos accounted for Boston College 62-45.
Freshman Gerard Martin also collated a career-best 17 points including 5/6 on triples as Grand Canyon defeated Central Michigan 75-72. The hot-shooting Martin who is entrenched in the starting line up then added 8 points on 3/5 shooting in a difficult 111-63 loss to #23 Louisville to bring an end to their 6-game winning streak.
Thank you for loving Aussie hoops! From Kein, Damian and #TeamPnR