NCAA Spotlight on the Aussie Women: The Big Catch-up (14-Feb-14)

Michael De Lacy takes a big look back over the last 4 weeks of NCAA Division I hoops action in an attempt to make up for lost time, and calls out the notable performances by the Aussie women.


Given that it has been around 4 weeks since we revisited the Aussie women in the NCAA, I did not want to leave out the big efforts that were performed. To catch up, I go through the best performances team by team for everyone's benefit.

Fresno State

Record | Overall (14-10), Conference (8-5)

This recap begins with an impressive performance from Fresno State's Australian trio who were able to snag a victory over New Mexico in a game with a nail-biting 75-73 result. Victorian Alex Sheedy went 7/10 from the field while also grabbing 4 rebounds and 1 block in 29 minutes. Things didn't go as planned for Bulldogs center Jacinta Vandenberg in a game where she produced just 2 rebounds and 2 blocks before fouling out in 10 minutes. South Australian Bree Farley however went 6/11 from the field in adding 16 points, 3 assists and 3 steals in 38 minutes. Farley was also clutch in the final seconds of the game when she made a dramatic drive into the paint to give the Bulldogs a 2-point victory.

Vandenberg bounced back to deliver a near double-double with 12 points, 9 rebounds and 1 block in just 19 minutes as the Bulldogs cruised to a 76-49 victory over Air Force. Farley stood up on the defensive end in the absence of Sheedy and stole a game-high 5 steals alongside 8 points and 4 rebounds.

Farley went 5/16 from the field compiling 15 points and 9 rebounds in 36 minutes in a nail biting loss against San Jose State 66-68.

In a game against Nevada the Bulldogs were able to snatch a win 73-48 in a game where the Bulldogs dominated both ends of the court. Farley had a big game with a career high 25 points, 10 rebounds and 3 steals 32 minutes. This was Farley's second double-double of the season. The Bulldogs also managed to force Nevada to shoot 28 percent from the field. Australian Jacinta Vandenberg was able to contribute some solid numbers compiling 9 points, 9 rebounds and 3 blocks in 27 minutes.

Bree Farley had this to say after the victory.

''My role this year has been different to any other year I've played here at Fresno State, especially with [Alex] Sheedy being out," Farley said. "I think I'm just trying to embrace doing a little extra for the team and just not giving up good shots. I've been trying to get to the stage that I got to tonight and it's just nice when your team-mates and coaches have faith in me to look after the ball and be a scorer for the team."

Saint Mary's

Record: Overall (19-6), Conference (9-5)

The Gaels snatched a well earned victory over Loyola Marymount 78-74. Kate Gaze stringed together a solid effort in leading the Gaels with 20 points and 4 assists in 35 minutes of action. Against San Diego, Gaze struggled from the field in hitting just 3/11 but still managed to produce 7 points and 8 dimes in 39 minutes. In a game that went down to the wire, the Gaels were able to hold on for a victory.

Gaze in action for the Gael’s vs BYU – Courtesy Saint Mary’s College Athletics

Massachusetts

Record: Overall (3-23), Conference (0-12)

Massachusetts's Kiara Bomben played a key role in a victory over Virginia 81-51. Bomben tied a team high 7 rebounds while also chiming in 12 points and 2 blocks in 32 minutes. She would however like to put behind her a cringe-worthy 10 turnovers.

Idaho

Record: Overall (18-8), Conference (11-1)

Stacey Barr continued her stellar play, shooting a hot 7/11 from the field including 4/5 from the 3-point line as she compiled a game-high 23 points. In doing so, Barr became just the 19th player in Idaho history to rack up 1,000 career points. She also chipped in 8 rebounds and 6 assists in 27 minutes in what proved to be a high scoring victory over Utah Valley 96-69. Barr has scored in double digits in 24 of her last 26 games and has been an unstoppable force offensively. Barr has been shooting 56 percent from the 3-point line and 57 percent from field; amazing numbers.

The Vandals are on a definite roll, grabbing their 8th win in a row; a 77-59 victory over Seattle. Barr led the way once again in increasingly familiar fashion, contributing a double-double of 25 points, 12 rebounds and 2 assists in 39 minutes

Barr went 7/25 from the field adding a double-double with 12 rebounds, 24 points and 3 steals in 37 mins. The Vandals were unable to keep their streak going and suffered their first loss of 2014 against CSU Bakersfield 79-60.

Hawaii

Record: Overall (13-10), Conference (7-4)

Ashleigh Karaitiana exploded for a career-high 28 points alongside 7 rebounds in playing all 45 minutes of a heart-breaking 72-75 overtime loss to Cal State Northridge. Karaitiana was almost the hero, nailing a game tying triple to force overtime. However Karaitiana wasn't able to maintain her hot shooting in overtime as Hawaii slipped away in the end to lose by just 3-points.

Bucknell

Record: Overall (13-11), Conference (8-6)

Bucknell scored a victory over Colgate 64-54 in a strong defensive effort. Sophomore Claire Maree O'Bryan had an impressive game in finishing with 15 points, 5 rebounds and 3 steals in 24 minutes off the bench, while also shooting a solid 45 percent from the field.

St. Francis Brooklyn

Record: Overall (16-8), Conference (7-6)

Jessica Kaufman played a major part in a 71-50 victory over Central Connecticut, chipping in 10 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists in 30 minutes. Eilidh Simpson also played a key role, compiling 9 points and 4 assists in 33 minutes. This victory ended a 3-game losing streak by the Terriers, and they did so by shooting an excellent 51 percent from the field.

The Terriers also secured a win over Sacred Heart 69-49. Simpson stepped up for a big game, contributing a game-high 19 points, 6 rebounds and 1 block in 35 minutes. Kaufman went 4/5 from field in adding 8 points and 2 blocks in 26 minutes of her own. That is where the winning run ended, as the Terriers went down to Bryant 58-61. Simpson cooled down after her last game but was still able to contribute 8 points, 3 rebounds and 2 steals in 36 minutes.

Utah State

Record: Overall (10-14), Conference (4-9)

Sophomore Stephanie Bairstow helped spark Utah State to a strong win against Boise State. Bairstow compiled 9 points and 8 rebounds in a near double-double, with her strong performance also including 2 steals and 3 blocks in 31 minutes of action. In following up that individual effort, Bairstow then collected her first career double-double in a big 80-75 win over Wyoming. The Queenslander logged 10 points, 11 rebounds and 1 block in 34 minutes of action in what was arguably her best game to date.

North Dakota State

Record: Overall (6-20), Conference (2-9)

Forward Marena Whittle was 1-rebound shy of a double-double in racking up 19 points, 9 rebounds and 3 assists in only 22 minutes. The Bison's were able to outscore Western Illinois in a tough contest, eventually prevailing 83-77.

The Bison's Whittle had another strong outing by chipping in 17 points, 2 assists and 2 steals in 32 minutes as they went on to defeat Summit 85-79. She then followed up again with 13 points and 2 steals in 29 minutes against cross-town rival South Dakota and fellow Australian and Coyote Nicole Seekamp. Seekamp finished with 13 points 5 assists in 20 minutes off the bench for the Coyotes in a game that South Dakota won 83-70.

Virginia Tech

Record: Overall (11-13), Conference (1-10)

Vanessa Panoussis poured in 21 points and 2 assists in 34 minutes of action for the Hokies in a 4-point loss to Duke (70-74). The Hokies have been struggling in the New Year, and it wasn't too long ago that the Hokies were the team to beat after they had at one stage a 10-2 record.

In a loss against Wake Forest 64-65, Hannah Young had 17 points, 9 rebounds and 2 steals in 34 minutes while team-mate Vanessa Panoussis had 21 points 4 assists in the loss.


Who was your Aussie player of the past few week? Did anyone get missed that should have received a mention? Share your opinion by posting a reply and stay tuned for the next recap in the coming days!