The Fibonacci sequence is defined as “a sequence of numbers in which each successive number in the sequence is obtained by adding the two previous numbers in the sequence.” Whilst the true Fibonacci sequence starts with zero and one, Cal Poly freshman Abbey Ellis has created a sequence of her own in her opening four college games, culminating in a game-winning 29-point outing in the Mustangs’ 62-43 first win of the season over Sacramento State.
Ellis had put together a decent start to her college career, opening her account with 9 points against Fresno State and another 10 against Pepperdine, both in losses. At this point, if there was a pattern to be created, perhaps an 11-point outing on the road at Denver would follow. Ellis took it the other way though, equalling her output from the previous two games with 19 points despite the Mustangs falling to a 96-66 defeat.
At this point, only the most eagle-eyed of those living in the Venn diagram intersection of women’s college basketball and mathematical fanaticism would have noticed the potential for a Fibonacci sequence of sorts to be created. However, that is exactly what Ellis produced, once again producing a scoring tally equal to her output in the previous two contests.
However, the mathematical pattern looked to be short-lived as Ellis put up just three points in the opening quarter, with Cal Poly falling in a 21-14 hole. But once Ellis flicked the switch in the second quarter, the momentum swung right back in the Mustangs' favour. Whether getting to the rack or knocking down jumpers, Ellis found multiple ways to score, tallying 11 of her side’s 17 second quarter points. With the Mustangs’ defence holding Sacramento State to just 8 points in the term, a 7-point deficit became a 31-29 lead at halftime.
Ellis’ only rest for the game had come at the quarter and halftime breaks, but little fazed the freshman sensation as she carried the scoring load for Cal Poly all afternoon. An early three sparked a 14-0 run for the Mustangs, with Ellis responsible for eight of those points as her third three-pointer of the evening rounded out the scoring streak. Then, just for good measure, the Victorian added a lay-up as time expired in the third quarter to send Cal Poly into the final term up 53-39.
A low-scoring quarter in which the teams combined for 13 points gave Sacramento State absolutely zero chance of cutting into the deficit, with Ellis actually outscoring her opponents 5-4 as Cal Poly cruised to a 62-43 victory despite those early jitters. Playing all 40 minutes of the contest, a fourth three of the evening just over a minute from time left the freshman just a point shy of the magical 30-point mark. However, putting up 29 points just four games into a college career bodes well for Ellis’ future, and it also produced an obscure yet intriguing pattern of scoring. However, Ellis didn’t just put up big scoring numbers, also adding 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals, doing a bit of everything to help her team to victory.
It might be a bit much to ask Ellis to continue the pattern for one more game, but who wouldn’t love to see the freshman put up 48 against Arizona State on Tuesday?
Ellis’ performance was outstanding, but a dominant scoring performance that coincided with a famous mathematical sequence wasn’t the only newsworthy performance of the last few days.
Courtney Woods pushed her season scoring average back above the 20-point mark with a 26-point evening in a 69-66 loss to Illinois State. The Northern Illinois senior scored 20 points or more for the third time in four games, connecting on 3 of 8 from deep and a perfect 7 of 7 at the charity stripe.
Courtney Murphy could consider herself unlucky to be on the losing side of a double-overtime thriller as Seattle fell 90-84 to Idaho. Shooting 9 of 14 from the field, Murphy top-scored for the Redhawks with 22 points, including 8 points across the two overtime periods. But it would be Australian freshman Caitlyn Jones and Idaho who came away with the win after the Vandals twice came back to push the game to an extra five minutes.
Ahlise Hurst continues to enjoy a blistering start to her sophomore year, following up last week’s pair of 20-point performances with 16 points in a 93-78 victory over UTEP. Iowa State transfer Bride Kennedy-Hopoate also had a breakout game for the Lobos, shooting 3 of 5 from deep and 6 of 6 at the line on her way to 17 points.
Freshman Hannah Hank earned her first start for Clemson and took full advantage in the Tigers’ 76-43 victory over Alabama State. With just seven minutes and two points under her belt in her first two games, Hank put together something else against the Hornets. The South Australian shot 5 of 7 from the field on her way to 12 points, and also grabbed 3 rebounds in 20 minutes on court.
Sam Simons’ solid start to the season got even better with a first double-double of the season in an 83-74 win over UC Davis. Not only did the sophomore put up 17 points, 13 rebounds, and 6 assists, Simons also shot an efficient 6 of 9 from the field as the Gaels moved back to .500 with a 2-2 record.
Having tallied just four points across her first three games, Texas freshman Isabel Palmer put together a breakout performance as the Longhorns knocked off UTRGV 85-69. The Novocastrian buried 3 of 7 from deep, the first three-pointers of her college career, on her way to 15 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists.
It may not have been another 31-point outing, but Rosie Deegan once again impressed as Davidson routed Western Carolina 101-51. The Wildcats knocked down a school record 14 threes, with Deegan connecting on both of her attempts on the way to 16 points and 5 rebounds in 20 minutes. Adelaide Fuller led Davidson with 8 rebounds alongside 7 points, which also included one make from deep. Sophomore Cassidy Gould chipped in 4 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, and a pair of steals as the Wildcats cruised after jumping out to a 31-9 lead by the end of the first quarter.
Having gone close once last season, Idaho State sophomore Callie Bourne produced the first double-double of her career in a 70-52 loss to Oklahoma State. Despite the result, a 14-point, 11-rebound performance against a major conference opponent featuring some top-level players represents an outstanding effort.