NCAA Women: Barr on a scoring spree

After a well deserved break in Hawaii The Pick and Roll's Michael De Lacy takes a look at all the action and the standout performances by the Aussie women in the last couple of weeks in NCAA Division I.

Player of the week

This week’s award goes to gun guard Stacey Barr for the second time this season following some big scoring out bursts while averaging 25 points per game to date in December.

Stacey Barr - Courtesy University of Idaho Athletics

In their first game in December against the undefeated Oregon State Beavers, the Vandals weren't able to hold on for a victory going down 75-53 in a valiant performance. The squad struggled from the field managing a mere 28%, with Barr misfiring on 7/21 shooting in racking up 21 points and 6 rebounds in 32 minutes. Tayla Corrigan and Renae Mokrzycki were both held scoreless, although Geraldine McCorkell had an impact in contributing 7 points and 4 rebounds.

The Vandals then went on a scoring spree on their way to an incredible 85 point victory against Multnomah (104-19). Statistically, the Vandals and all the Aussies dominated the game, grabbing 70 rebounds, 30 assists, going 46% from the field with 15 steals and only a low 9 turnovers. Barr went 9/15 from the field as she tied her career high for 3-pointers in a game, going 6/11 from downtown for 27 points with 9 rebounds in only 17 minutes of action! McCorkell had 6 points and 5 rebounds in 12 minutes while Mokrzycki managed a near double-double with 10 points and 9 rebounds in 13 minutes. Corrigan compiled 10 points and 3 rebounds in 13 minutes. After the humiliating win, Barr made this statement;

“It was great that everyone got out there today. Just to get them out on the floor and get them some shots was good before we head down to Baylor.”

However the Vandals weren’t able to maintain the momentum following the big win against Multnomah, with a loss against Baylor and fellow Aussie Kristy Wallace (88-70). Barr however was at her usual best. She went 11/24 from the field in exploding for a season high 31 points with 5 rebounds in 36 minutes, although she was forced into 10 turnovers. Corrigan was held scoreless and McCorkell had only 2 points. Baylor's Aussie freshman Wallace had her best game to date, breaking out to impress her coach and the fans in compiling a solid 24 points including 6 triples with 5 assists in 30 minutes of action!

Tweet from the game

Coach John Newlee had this to say about Stacey Barr; “[Stacey] loves this atmosphere,” Newlee said. “She loves playing against big time people. She is a big time player and she proves it every time we go against teams of this caliber.”

With no surprises Barr once again went off grabbing 28 points, 9 rebounds in 35 minutes, in a disappointing loss against Toledo 80-67. Barr's fellow Aussie teammates were held scoreless.

Idaho then took on Southeast Missouri and grabbed a 78-62 victory. Barr had 17 points, 7 rebounds and 2 steals in 29 minutes and was ably supported by McCorkell who played her best game for the Vandals in delivering 19 points and 7 rebounds in only 19 minutes.

Team of the Week

It was hard to go past Nicole Seekamp's South Dakota as being team of the week thanks to a couple of big wins.

Seekamp was impressive with 16 points, 4 rebounds and 5 assists in 32 minutes in helping guide the Coyotes to a 85-77 victory over Northern Iowa. It was a win the Coyotes were needing and their Aussie delivered when it mattered the most.

She then added 15 points and 3 assists in 21 minutes in a victory over CSF 86-50. The Coyotes shot 44 percent from downtown and shot 52 percent in the win. The Coyotes then took on an outgunned Saint Mary and were able to grab a very big 64 point victory (115-51). Seekamp had 10 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds and 4 steals in 23 minutes of action.

Best of the Rest

Boston Terriers lone senior Mollie McKendrick had a big game, collecting a big double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds in 35 minutes. However the Terriers fell to New Hampshire 55-67. McKendrick was again solid in compiling 11 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists in 23 minutes in another loss, this time to Yale 59-66. The Terriers are currently struggling and are facing a 4 game losing streak when they next take on Massachusetts.

Fresno State's Alex Sheedy has continued her stellar play in grabbing her third double-double of the season with a game high 21 points and 11 rebounds in a very impressive 16 minutes. The Bulldogs escaped with a win in this game 73-61 against UC Riverside.

Sheedy with the sweet stroke - Courtesy Fresno State Athletics

The Bulldogs were not able to maintain their winning ways as they then fell to George Washington by only 9 points (73-64). George Washington controlled the paint in holding a rebound advantage grabbing 47 rebounds compared to 32. Aussie senior Sheedy had 13 points and pulled down 7 rebounds in 36 minutes of action.

Sheedy grabbed her 4th double-double of the season in a narrow 60-56 victory over Saint Mary's. Sheedy played a vital part in the narrow win, going 7/10 from the field for 18 points, 10 rebounds and 2 steals in 33 minutes of non-stop action. The Bulldogs were strong on the defensive end, forcing 22 Gael's turnovers and they didn't waste these scoring opportunities grabbing 23 points off turnovers.

The Gael's Aussies Lauren Nicholson, Carly Turner and Hannah Kaser weren't enough in order to secure a win. Nicholson was outstanding, contributing 25 points and 7 rebounds in 39 minutes. This was in direct contrast to Kaser and Turner who were both quiet with 2 points each.

Sheedy and the Bulldogs would then follow-up with a 5 point victory against Cal State Fullerton (57-52). She added 19 points and 4 rebounds in 34 minutes, becoming the 22nd Bulldog to pass the 1,000 points in school history.

Funda Nakkasoglu - Courtesy Utah State Athletics

Utah State's Funda Nakkasoglu has recently entered the starting line-up for the Aggies and quickly established herself as a vital part of this squad. Nakkasoglu went 8/21 from the field for 19 points with 3 rebounds and an impressive 8 assists in 40 minutes of action. Despite Nakkasoglu’s career-high performance, it wasn't enough as they fell to Utah 57-63.

The Aggies managed to end a 4 game losing streak in a 60-51 victory over Westminster. Nakkasoglu was once again impressive, this time adding 17 points and 4 assists in 30 minutes. The Aggies forced 20 turnovers and scored 21 points off their steals.

Nakkasoglu continued her stellar play going 7/17 from the field and a huge 10/15 from the charity stripe in adding a new career-high 24 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists in a 65-61 home win over Northern Colorado. Utah State hasn't managed to grab a win on the road yet and looks to have new "go-to" scorer 5’7” Funda Nakkasoglu who also was named America First Credit Union Utah State Student-Athlete of the Week.

North Dakota's Marena Whittle compiled 12 points and 8 rebounds in 27 minutes in a big 58-109 loss against Mississippi State. She backed up with another game in double-dgit scoring, generating 11 points, 5 rebounds, 4assists and 3 blocks in 39 minutes of action. The game had to be decided in overtime, yet the Bisons were not able to prevail in a nail-biting ending to lose only by 3 points to enemy North Dakota (90-87).

The Virginia Tech Hokies were able to snatch a victory over Longwood 74-42. Vanessa Panousis scored 13 points with 4 rebounds and 4 assists in 30 minutes. Hannah Young also played well, chipping in with 7 points and 4 rebounds.

Panousis followed up in shooting 10/23 from the field including 4 from downtown in collecting 24 points and 5 assists in 39 minutes. Young finished with 8 points and 5 assists as the Hokies secured a win over Western Carolina 79-58.

Keely Froling - Courtesy of SMU Athletics

Southern Methodist managed to secure a victory over North Texas 62-55. The Froling twin towers have been impressive, with Alicia contributing 14 points, 8 rebounds, 3 steals and a career-high 4 blocks in 32 minutes. Keely struggled from the field in this game going 1/6 while managing only 2 points.

The twins moved onto their next game and were able to both dominate in the paint but it just wasn't enough as they fell to Texas A&M 62-70. Alicia had her best game yet, compiling a big double-double with 13 points, 15 rebounds and 4 blocks in 37 minutes of action. Keely also was solid, grabbing a double-double too with 13 rebounds, 12 points and 2 assists in 34 minutes. Southern Methodist next challenge is against Indiana State.

Santa Clara had a thrilling 3 point victory over UC Davis in the first game of the Air Force Classic (79-76). Trailing by 12 points in the second half, the Broncos made a quick decisive resurgence. Maddison Allen was a big part of the comeback, the sophomore made some big defensive plays with 2 blocked shots and scored all 7 of her points in the last 6 minutes of the game. She also added 8 rebounds in only 16 minutes.

For the second game in a row, Allen was big off the bench in helping her squad to a victory against Air Force 85-64. Allen compiled 12 points (6/6 FT) with 9 rebounds and a game-high 4 blocks in only 15 minutes. Santa Clara dominated the game statistically grabbing 58 rebounds while Air Force only managed 27.

5’10” St. Francis Brooklyn Guard Alex Delaney and her squad had a 2 point victory against SBU 57-55. The victory came after Delaney hit a game winning 3-pointer with less than a second remaining in the game! She would finish with 8 points in 22 minutes coming off the bench. Delaney had this to say after her incredible game winner;

"It was crazy. Leah got the huge rebound and I was standing there calling for the ball. I just shot it. Winning at home means so much. It was insane, it was an amazing feeling."

Moving onto their next game the terriers faced a very tough loss against Vermont 61-63. Delaney had 8 points, 3 rebounds and 1 steal in 20 minutes. Eilidh Simpson appeared in this game and contributed 11 points, 3 boards and 2 steals in 35 minutes.

To round out this week's update, here are some other pretty good performances worth noting;

  • Bucknell Junior Claire Maree O'Bryan played an important role in a 79-50 victory over Morgan State. O'Bryan poured in 20 points (6/8 FG) with 4 triples, 6 rebounds and 2 assists in 24 minutes of action.

  • Washington State's freshman forward Louise Brown bagged 2 points, 10 rebounds and 4 assists in 17 minutes as the Cougars scored a very big 81-55 win over UC Santa Barbara.

  • Hawaii’s Ashleigh Karaitiana compiled 10 points with 8 rebounds in 39 minutes but was unable to prevent a 61-69 loss. But unfortunately even a valid contribution from Karaitiana wasn't even enough for the Rainbow Wahine to grab a victory against Pacific.

  • Eastern Illinois' Grace Lennox compiled 9 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals in 30 minutes in a 77-66 victory over Omaha in a game where the lead only changed once.