Monique Andriuolo drops 30 and 17 to earn WCC Player of the Week

Monique Andriuolo has been enjoying a vastly improved campaign in the 2019/20 college season, but what the junior produced for Pepperdine in a 73-64 overtime victory over Saint Mary’s was, to put it simply, on another level.

The Victorian had topped 20 points twice this season, but not grabbed more than seven boards in either of those performances. Similarly, grabbing 10 or more rebounds has produced just one double-double for Andriuolo: a 10-point, 11-board outing against Santa Clara. With that in mind, it was quite astounding to see the junior put up a mammoth 30 points and 17 boards to lead the Waves in a game that saw 13 lead changes and 8 ties as Andriuolo captured WCC Player of the Week honours in the process.

This wasn’t a performance shaped by one monster quarter, with Andriuolo playing the long game and keeping her team in touch throughout the contest with regular contributions both to the score and on the glass. Opening up with four first quarter points, Andriuolo produced 13 points and 7 rebounds by halftime as Pepperdine erased a 15-7 deficit before taking a slender 30-29 lead as the teams headed to the locker rooms.

A double-double for Andriuolo seemed inevitable, and it came to pass in the third quarter as Pepperdine extended their lead. However, Andriuolo wasn’t the only Aussie enjoying a sparkling day out, with Saint Mary’s sophomore Sam Simons once again among the Gaels’ best. With the Australian pair pacing their respective teams, Pepperdine took a 45-40 lead into the final quarter of a pulsating contest.

Ironically, perhaps Andriuolo’s best quarter came as Saint Mary’s rallied to send the game to overtime. Whilst the junior added 9 points in the final quarter of regulation, a barnstorming Simons helped Saint Mary’s to overcome their five-point deficit and send the game to overtime as neither side found a basket after a Saint Mary’s three 37 seconds from time, leaving the scoreboard reading 59-59.

Despite being stung by losing their lead and momentum, Pepperdine regrouped in the extra period. Andriuolo notched her 29th and 30th point at the line to put the Waves up 63-61 three minutes from time, and from that moment, they were never headed. Saint Mary’s would add just one more basket, a three that cut a 67-61 deficit in half with 39 seconds to play, but Pepperdine proved unshakeable at the line to secure a 73-64 victory.

Shooting 12 of 20 from the field and 6 of 8 at the line, Andriuolo’s 30 points obliterated her previous career high of 22, whilst her 17 rebounds were 5 more than she had grabbed in any game prior. It was the sixth game grabbing 10 or more rebounds for the junior this season, whilst the scoring deluge elevated her season average to 9.7 points per game. Simons would tally 18 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists, knocking down 4 of 7 from deep and finishing as Saint Mary’s top scorer.

Claire Jacobs continues to prove that she is a piece that La Salle can build around for the future, producing a second 29-point performance in the space of a fortnight as the Explorers picked up a third conference victory with a win over George Mason. 13 first quarter points from Jacobs sent La Salle on their way and they never looked back on their way to a 77-62 success. The freshman connected on 4 of 9 from deep and 7 of 8 on the line on her way to 29 points, whilst sister Amy buried 3 of 4 from three-point land to add 14 points as the duo dominated proceedings.

However, Rosie Deegan once again secured Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week honours for two more solid performances as Davidson split a pair of games. The freshman was instrumental in the Wildcats’ 77-70 win over Rhode Island, leading the way in all major statistical categories. Deegan barely saw the bench, playing 37 minutes and posting 25 points, 11 rebounds, and a career-high 6 assists. Cassidy Gould chipped in 12 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 steals, whilst Adelaide Fuller added 8 points and a pair of boards.

A 24-8 third quarter deficit cruelled the Wildcats’ chances at victory against Massachusetts later in the weekend, but Deegan was once again in fine form. Pouring in 18 points, the freshman once again finished with the team-high, whilst also adding 5 rebounds and 3 assists. Fuller added 6 points and 6 rebounds, whilst Gould tallied 3 points and 5 boards as all three Aussies once again contributed. However, a 44-23 second half saw Davidson’s 13-point halftime lead evaporated as Massachusetts secured a 70-62 victory.

Portland may not have secured a win over the weekend, but Alex Fowler remained exemplary for the Pilots. Although BYU enacted revenge for an early-season defeat with a 66-54 victory, Fowler nonetheless tallied a game-high 17 points, as well as 8 rebounds, 5 steals, and 3 blocks in an impressive all-round performance. However, that paled in comparison to the star forward’s output against San Diego later in the week. In a game that came down to the wire, Fowler kept Portland’s score ticking over throughout the contest. Shooting a highly efficient 12 of 17 from the field, the Queenslander poured in a game-high 26 points whilst also tallying 5 rebounds, 3 steals, and 2 blocks. Unfortunately, though, it would be San Diego who executed better down the stretch in securing a 62-58 victory.

However, it was not all about Fowler for the Pilots. Having already put up 13 points and 8 assists against BYU, Haylee Andrews came agonisingly close to posting a triple-double. Despite once again being forced off for a short time with an apparent ankle injury, Andrews managed to post 10 points, 9 rebounds, and 8 assists as the Aussies once again starred for the team in purple.

The Aussie beatdowns of UC Riverside in 2019/20 continued as Sophia Locandro posted a career-high against the Highlanders. Following in the footsteps of Jaz Shelley’s 32 points and Abbey Ellis’ 37 against the same opponent, Locandro dismantled UC Riverside’s interior defence on her way to 25 points and 8 rebounds as UC Irvine rolled to a 77-53 victory. The 25 points represented Locandro’s third 20-point game of the season, whilst Jayde Cadee chipped in 6 points and 3 rebounds in the Anteaters’ second conference win of the season.

Although New Mexico couldn’t become the first Mountain West team to defeat Fresno State this season, Ahlise Hurst’s run of form continued in a valiant performance from the Lobos in an 84-78 defeat. Coming into the game with a 3-7 conference record, New Mexico threw everything they had at the Bulldogs, and even took a 9-point advantage into the final term. Although they couldn’t hang on as Fresno State came over the top with a 27-12 final term, it was a confidence-boosting performance against the top team in the league. Hurst finished with 18 points, her ninth double-figure scoring effort in ten games, taking her season average to 13.8 points per contest in the process to lead the Lobos in scoring.