NCAA: Stacey Barr blazes with scoring spree
The girls from Down Under are making their presence well and truly known in the NCAA Division 1 competition. But while these young ladies are making a big difference in America, you can be sure that they still call Australia home. Michael De Lacy takes a look at the action and calls out the best performances for these great Australian ambassadors over the past week.
Player of the Week
This week's player of the week was an easier job than last week, but I was still torn between North Dakota State's Marena Whittle who suddenly broke out of her struggle with a big 20 rebound game and the Idaho Vandals' Stacey Barr who continues to put up high scoring games with little fuss or drama, which is what we have come to expect from the Vandals senior. After some careful consideration, I went with Barr as player of the week after a big 20 point game.
The Idaho Vandals snagged a victory over Portland State (69-49). Senior Barr went 6-13 from the field, adding 20 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals. Freshmen Geraldine McCorkell appeared in the starting line-up for the first time this season and had 5 points, 5 rebounds in 21 minutes of action, while Tayla Corrigan had 8 points, 5 rebounds and 3 blocks off the bench in 12 minutes.
Barr had a spectacular outing against Sacramento State, leading the Vandals with 28 points, 5 rebounds, 5-8 from beyond the ark, 3 assists and 2 steals but this impressive effort wasn't enough as Sacramento State defeated Idaho (92-84). McCorkell finished with 10 points and 2 rebounds. The Vandals had a subpar 24 turnovers for the game and Sacramento State took advantage of this, scoring 24 points off the Vandals turnovers. The Vandals have now hit at least one 3-pointer in their last 221 games.
Barr, an "Exercise Science & Health" major, holds a 3.47 GPA while leading the Big Sky Conference in scoring with 19.8 points per game, has just been named in the Capitol One Academic All-District Team by the College Sports Information Directors of America.
Team of the Week
It's no surprise the Baylor Lady Bears make an appearance as this week's Team of the Week for the sixth time in a row, and after recording their 23rd victory in a row. Freshman Kristy Wallace has played a very vital part in this impressive streak with some solid games off the bench.
The Lady Bears had a victory over number 2 ranked Oklahoma (89-66). Wallace came off the bench and contributed 9 points, 6 assists and 2 rebounds in 18 minutes. Baylor dominated the game, shooting 57% from the field, 32 assists on top of Oklahoma's 16, leading with points in the paint (50-20). Baylor outrebounded the Sooners (42-33) for the 22nd time this season out of 24 games.
In the Lady Bears' final game of the week, Baylor recorded their 23rd victory in a row in front of 6,762 Baylor fans, who were able to watch the Lady Bears stretch their home streak to 17 games in a row after defeating West Virginia (79-51). Wallace had another good game off the bench with 9 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists in 27 minutes of action. Baylor dominated the rebound count with 50 advantage on West Virginia's 21. Baylor led in points in the paint (58-24) and has done so in all 25 games this season. The Lady Bears' head coach Kim Mulkey had this to say following the victory;
"We're playing on all cylinders right now. Late in the year, you're usually fatigued and I just don't sense any fatigue right now. I thought I substituted very liberally the entire game."
This gives the Lady Bears a very impressive 24-1 overall Record and a 13-0 record in the Big 12 Conference. With only 5 games remaining in the regular season, the Lady Bears will look to continue this impressive streak when they face Texas Tech on a rough 4 game road trip.
— Baylor Lady Bears (@BaylorWBB) February 15, 2015
Best of the Rest
Eildih Simpson played a few quiet minutes and finished with 10 points, 4 assists, 6 rebounds, in a disappointing loss to Central Connecticut (61-43). Simpson now has 981 as a St. Francis Brooklyn Terrier. In St. Francis Brooklyn's final game of the week they defeated Sacred Heart (77-53). Simpson had 11 points, 5 assists and 2 steals. While Freshman Alex Delaney compiled 3 points, 2 assists and 2 rebounds.
South Dakota had a strong victory over Marena Whittle's North Dakota State (83-79). The Coyotes were lead by Aussie senior Nicole Seekamp who had a very impressive shooting effort, going 7-13 from the field including 3-3 from the 3 point line, Seekamp compiled 21 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds and 2 steals in 33 minutes of action. The Bison's Whittle chipped in 4 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists in the Bisons' loss. Whittle did however make two important points from the charity stripe with 1:30 remaining in the game to give Bisons a chance. North Dakota State trailed the entire game. South Australian Nicole Seekamp made this statement following the victory.
"We knew they were going to fight back,(Bison's) who fell to 9-14 overall and 5-6 in the Summit. Someone had to step up and fortunately, I was able to do it."
South Dakota's Nicole Seekamp led the Coyotes with 16 points, 3 assists, 3 rebounds and 3 steals in a very satisfying victory over Omaha (83-63) giving South Dakota their 5th victory in a row. The Coyotes took care of the ball with a noteworthy 6 turnovers for the game, leaving the Coyotes with a 20-5 overall record and 10-2 in the Summit league conference. Nicole Seekamp has just been voted to the Capital One Academic All-District 6 men's and women's basketball teams as selected by College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Seekamp was one of three Summit League players to be named to one of the eight All-District teams.
Over in the West Coast Conference, Gonzaga had a big win over Loyola Marymount Lions, (59-82) recording their 15th win a row. Gonzaga's junior, Georgia Stirton was impressive with a career-high 17 points, 5 assists and 3 steals in 26 minutes of action. Gonzaga shot 76% (20-26) in the first half. Gonzaga's head coach Lisa Fortier said this following the big win.
"We shot the ball extremely well in the first half and it really helped our momentum from the tip, I wish we would have taken better care of the basketball, but we stayed focused on their shooters and didn't let them get loose from the three-point line. They are a dangerous team when you let them get going from three."
Ashleigh Karaitiana enjoyed 10 points, 6 rebounds 4 assists in a close 3 point victory over UC Riverside, (72-69) keeping Hawaii's 8 game win streak intact. Hawaii currently remains on top of the Big West Conference (8-2). Long Beach State are not too far behind them (only one game!). There are four other teams closely behind them in the rankings, which makes it a tough contest towards the business end of the season.
Mollie McKendrick went 1-6 from the field struggling with her jump. Nevertheless, she was able to compile 4 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals in a loss to Colgate (67-54). The Terriers had 23 turnovers following the loss.
The Terriers then took on Loyola Maryland, lone senior McKendrick finished with a near double-double producing 11 points and 8 rebounds in 28 minutes of action as the Terriers were defeated by Loyola Maryland (66-55).
The Fresno State Bulldogs experienced a nail-biting overtime loss to UNLV (73-70). Alex Sheedy put together 13 points, 6 rebounds and 3 steals in the loss. However, a positive take away from the game was the Bulldogs' success in forcing UNLV to commit 30 turnovers. Bulldogs Head Coach Jaime White made this statement after the disappointing loss:
"It wasn't the turnout that we wanted. I felt like our intensity on defense was a little bit suspect, and to be honest, our rebounding wasn't there and we didn't give ourselves a chance to win. We forced 30 turnovers, and that was a great job, but we didn't create the transition points that we've had in the past and that hurt us a little bit."
Saint Mary's head Coach Paul Thomas recorded a career number of 400 wins as the Gaels defeated BYU in a exciting overtime victory (76-71). Lauren Nicholson had 13 points, 3 rebounds and was fouled out with 1:30 remaining as she helped St. Marys come up with the victory. Carly Turner had 5 rebounds and 1 steal in 17 minutes.
On Saturday, Saint Mary's had a thrilling 2 point victory over USD (68-66). The Gaels finished the game shooting 54% from the field, The Gaels also held a 37 on 26 rebound advantage. Nicholson was impressive with 26 points and 4 rebounds in 33 minutes. Freshman Carly Turner had 2 points and 3 rebounds. After the thrilling victory over USD the Gaels now have a 18-7 Overall Record and 11-3 West Coast Conference Record.
Down in the Summit League North Dakota States Marena Whittle had 8 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 4 steals as North Dakota State was defeated by 26 points against Oral Roberts (67-41). The Bisons had only 1 point contribution from their bench.
After struggling with consistency this season, Whittle suddenly exploded with a very impressive game against Omaha, but it wasn't enough as Omaha pulled away with the 8 point victory (73-65) in a game where the Bisons trailed the entire game and recorded their 6th loss in a row. Whittle led North Dakota State with a big double-double compiling 10 points, a career and game high 20 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 blocks in 38 minutes.
LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds were defeated by Robert Morris (77-58). Sophomore Demi Tomlinson had 6 points, 2 rebounds and 1 block in 21 minutes. The Blackbirds downfall was their field goal percentage finishing the game with 24% in the loss.
Virginia Tech were defeated by Syracuse (59-51) which was their 6th loss in a row. Vanessa Panousis has continued to struggle with her shot grabbing 18 points (6-17fg) and 4 rebounds.
Hannah Young provided great support to the imposing Panousis compiling a near double-double with a team high 14 rebounds and 9 points. The Hokies finished the game shooting just 29% from the field. Panousis has been struggling with shooting stroke this season, managing only 31%.
Southern Methodist is back to its losing ways after they recorded their first victory last week. They were defeated by USF (72-51). Alicia Froling had a unusually off game after a few big games, shooting 2-11 from the field but was still able to make a valid contribution with 6 points, 8 rebounds and 2 blocks in the loss. Stephanie Collins finished with 4 rebounds and 1 block.
Alicia continued her struggle shooting 3-10 from the field, adding 10 points, 2 blocks and 2 steals. Keely Froling was back in the action and the starting line-up with 4 points and 2 blocks, while Collins had a great defensive game with 4 blocks and 3 steals in 14 minutes as SMU faced their 19th loss of the season. (5-19 overall) (1-12 Conference).
Grace Lennox had 8 points, 5 assists and 3 rebounds as Eastern Illinois was defeated by Austin Peay (83-72). This is the 3rd loss in a row for EI.
Utah States Funda Nakkasoglu had 17 points, 4 assists and 2 rebounds in 40 points as Utah State was defeated by Nevada in a low scoring battle (49-44). The Aggies finished the game shooting 28% from the field.
Bianca Babic was back in the team, after attending her sister's wedding in Australia. Babic had 9 points, in 11 minutes in a loss to SIU Edwardsville (78-69).
Chelsea Roberts went 1-7 from the field but the junior found other ways to contribute in the 18 point victory over Southeast Missouri (78-60) compiling 6 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists. Roberts had 7 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals in 26 minutes of action as UT Martin rose above Austin Peay (91-63).
Becknell's Claire Maree O'Bryan was quiet off the bench recording only 2 rebounds in a one point victory to Navy (51-50).
Louise Brown put together 10 rebounds and 2 points as Washington State was defeated by Oregon State (61-56). Brown was once again on the boards, compiling 11 rebounds, 4 points and 3 blocks in a loss to the University of Colorado (72-51).