NCAA Spotlight on the Aussie Women: Hokies win big and Simpson sizzles (27-Dec-13)

Michael De Lacy takes a quick look back over the last week of NCAA Division I hoops action and calls out the notable performances by the Aussie women.

Small Talk

The South Dakota Coyotes kick off this week's holiday recap with a 34-point loss to Nebraska (53-87). The Coyotes went just 4/25 from beyond the arc and shot an extremely low 29% from the field that contributed to the lopsided outcome. South Australian guard Nicole Seekamp contributed a well-balanced game that was simply not enough to get the Coyotes across the line, finishing with 11 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 block in 31 minutes.

A 3 game winning streak came to an end for the Fresno State Bulldogs after a disappointing 47-76 loss to San Francisco, a game in which the Bulldogs shot a season low 29.1% from the field. Melbourne born center Jacinta Vandenberg went 3/8 from the field in compiling 6 points, 3 rebounds and a game high 2 blocks in 26 minutes of action. Alex Sheedy had a cold shooting night in going 2/8 from the field to end with 4 points, a team-high 5 rebounds and a game-high 3 steals in 25 minutes. Senior guard Bree Farley chimed in with a team-high 10 points in 29 minutes, including 3/5 on triples with 2 assists whilst Courtney Gaze did not suit up.

Continuing to impress are the Saint Marys Gaels who improved to 10-1 after a 72-60 win against California State Northridge. 5'8'' Victorian guard Kate Gaze gathered 8 points, 6 assists and 1 steal in 34 minutes while 6'0'' guard Lauren Nicholson impressed by adding 10 points and 2 steals in 33 minutes.

Stacey Barr's Idaho Vandals were unable to record a win against Wyoming, eventually going down 64-72. Barr struggled with her stroke, shooting just 3/16 from the field and making only 1/9 from long-range. Despite her shooting woes, Barr still managed to compile 10 points, 6 rebounds but with 5 turnovers in a game of frustration for the talented Victorian and her Vandals.

Player of the Week

It was Maddison Allen who gained my attention last week, however this time around it is Melbourne born junior Eilidh Simpson of St. Francis Brooklyn Terriers who earns the weekly recognition as Australian player of the week.

The Terriers picked up their fourth straight victory after defeating Lafayette 74-52, and it was Simpson who made a big impression. In playing 33 minutes, Simpson shot a sizzling 8/11 from the field and connected on 3/5 from downtown as she tied her career-high in scoring with 24 points. She also gathered a team best 4 assists alongside 1 steal, and with that performance she was named Co-Northeast Conference Player of the Week.

Simpson is currently averaging 13 points per game and the Terriers are currently 5-0 at home and a very respectable 8-2 thus far this season.

Team of the Week

Last week we had LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds taking the honours of team of the week after they came up with their first win of the season. This week I couldn't go past the Virginia Tech Hokies after they steamrolled Radford 82-33. Freshman Madison Penn was outstanding as she nailed 5/8 three-pointers in producing a new career-high of 15 points to go with 3 rebounds in 20 minutes on court. Team mate Vanessa Panoussis also had a great game, collecting 12 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists and 1 block in 20 minutes. The Hokies dominated Radford in all of the major statistical areas and it was the young Australian's leading the way as their team improved to an impressive 9-2 record.

Who was your Aussie player or team of the past week? Did anyone get missed that should have received a mention? Share your opinion by posting a reply.