Suzi-Rose Deegan’s streak of Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week awards may have been snapped at three, but the run of Aussies at Davidson picking up the award continues with Adelaide Fuller securing the honour this week.
Fresh off 18 points and 4 rebounds in a 74-62 win over Fordham, Fuller once again shone off the bench as Davidson moved to 3-0 in conference play with a 79-67 victory over Rhode Island. However, Fuller was hardly the only Australian in form for Davidson as the freshman combined with Deegan and sophomore Cassidy Gould for a total of 51 points and 14 rebounds in the win.
The Wildcats found themselves trailing 19-10 late in the first quarter as an upset-minded Rams side started strongly before four late points from Deegan closed the gap heading into the second term. With Davidson carrying momentum into the second term, all three Aussies chipped in baskets in the early minutes of the quarter as Gould’s lay-up midway through the term handed Davidson their first lead since the opening two minutes of the contest. Despite that extended run, the Wildcats couldn’t manage to break away from Rhode Island as the halftime score read 35-34 in Davidson’s favour.
Fuller continued to add the occasional basket in the third quarter as the game remained incredibly close after halftime. A lone three-pointer contributed to five points for the term as the Australian trio combined for 14 of Davidson’s 23 points, but with Rhode Island keeping pace, only a dominant fourth-quarter performance would ensure victory for Davidson.
And how the Australians delivered. With the scoreboard reading 58-55, an 13-4 run to open the final term was fuelled by 11 points from the trio as the Wildcats quickly opened up a double-digit advantage. Rhode Island’s offence failed to fire down the stretch, leaving Davidson to celebrate a 79-67 victory that moved their conference record to 3-0.
Another consistent offensive performance saw Deegan top-score with 21 points, the Western Australian’s ninth consecutive double-figure effort. However, Fuller’s second 18-point outing in as many games alongside 5 rebounds proved enough to garner Rookie of the Week honours. Gould also continued her solid season, tallying 12 points as the trio shot a combined 54% of the field in producing 51 points, a mammoth 64% of the team’s total.
Meanwhile, another trio of Aussies was finding success as Portland took on Saint Mary’s. In previous seasons, the idea of three Aussies would have pointed to a Gaels victory, but it was Alexandra Fowler, Haylee Andrews, and Keeley Frawley leading the Pilots to a 78-65 win.
Portland jumped out to an early advantage, opening up a 25-16 lead through ten minutes as Andrews poured in 9 first-quarter points before Frawley and Fowler tallied late points to open up a significant margin.
However, a second-quarter lapse from Portland allowed Saint Mary’s to tie the game as their own Aussie, Sam Simons, quickly tallied six consecutive points to level the scores at 27-27. As quickly as they had given up their lead, Portland re-established the advantage as Fowler proved dominant in close quarters in leading her team to a 39-29 halftime lead. The freshman tallied 9 points and 7 rebounds in the opening term, with Andrews adding 11 points alongside 5 assists as both appeared double-double bound.
Fortunately for the Pilots faithful, their charges avoided a repeat of their sluggish start to the second quarter with Andrews and Fowler continuing to play integral roles as the lead ballooned to 19 midways through the third quarter. However, Saint Mary’s would once again hit back, with a 9-0 run capped by a Simons jumper drawing the Gaels within eight before a Portland three restored the double-digit advantage heading into the final term.
Although Portland had looked comfortable for the majority of the game, Saint Mary’s wouldn’t make it easy for the Pilots in the final term. Once again, Portland let a lead slip as a once 15-point advantage dwindled to just five points with six minutes to play. But a timely three from Frawley snapped Saint Mary’s momentum, before Fowler and Andrews chipped in with points of their own. A 12-point gap with two minutes to play was always likely to be too large a gap to bridge, and Frawley made sure of the win with another three just over a minute from time as Portland ran out 78-65 victors.
All nine of Frawley’s points came from beyond the arc with her three threes coming at crucial moments in the contest. Meanwhile, Fowler and Andrews each finished with double-doubles. Fowler top-scored for the Pilots with 19 points and also grabbed 11 rebounds, whilst Andrews tallied 15 points and a career-high 12 assists, shooting an efficient 6 of 9 from the field in the process. At the other end, Simons was one of Saint Mary’s leaders, finishing with 14 points, one of four Gaels to tally double figures.
Monique Andriuolo has been enjoying her best college season to date, and only strengthened that notion with a dominant performance in Pepperdine’s 82-70 win over San Francisco. Having posted a first career double-double in last week’s overtime win over Santa Clara, the junior notched her second 20-point game of the season, and the first against NCAA Division I opposition. An efficient shooting performance saw Andriuolo connect on 7 of 11 from the field as well as 5 of 6 at the charity stripe, but that was far from her only production for the evening. Andriuolo also posted a career-high five blocks, eclipsing the four she posted against San Diego earlier this season. Having started conference play 1-3, the Waves have now moved back to 3-3 with Andriuolo’s fellow Australian Mia Satie still to return from injury.
Having dropped 25 in a rivalry win over Long Island a few days prior, Jade Johnson was at it again as St. Francis faced namesakes St. Francis of Pennsylvania. Although the Terriers were unable to get a result as a second half blitzkrieg saw the side from Pennsylvania secure an 82-72 victory, Johnson followed her 25 points against LIU with an even 20. The South Australian was exemplary at the line, connecting on 9 of 10 free throws, and knocked down 3 of 7 from beyond the arc as her season three-point percentage maintained its upward trend.
It’s been a tough campaign for the 5-12 Utah State side, but Steph Gorman has played valiant knocks throughout the season, and did so once again in a 69-60 defeat to Nevada. The sophomore knocked down 4 of 6 from deep on her way to 17 points, her tenth double-figure scoring effort of the season. In a team looking to reproduce the production of Aussie trio Olivia West, Eliza West, and Shannon Dufficy, who transferred out of the program after last season, Gorman’s improvement from 6.9 to 11.2 points per game has been crucial to Utah State’s chances of competing this year.
Callie Bourne’s emergence as a leader for Idaho State has been one of the more intriguing progressions to watch this season, and the sophomore once again performed admirably as the Bengals took on Northern Arizona. Despite the 70-59 defeat, Bourne tallied 16 points for her 10th double-figure scoring effort in 14 games, and pulled down seven rebounds to leave her season average at 7.6 boards per game. Those numbers represent a massive improvement for Bourne, who hit double figures just twice last season and grabbed only 3.6 rebounds per contest. In a team looking to build after losing key pieces from last season’s roster that earned a WNIT berth, Bourne has evolved into an integral part of the Bengals side.