NCAA Women: Collins' record-breaking form continues

After breaking Alicia Froling's single-season blocks record at SMU last week, Steph Collins this week set a new single-game blocks record for the Mustangs with 7 in a win over Tulsa. Elsewhere, Claire Ioannidis joined an elite club at North Florida, whilst Nicole Seekamp picked up yet another player of the week award for two excellent performances.

Steph Collins was once again in record breaking form, swatting shots away with glee in SMU’s 62-45 win over Tulsa. Collins finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds to collect a double-double, but the most impressive part of her performance was a 7 block effort that broke the school’s single-game record. Collins had tied the record of six blocks by halftime, but had to wait until the fourth quarter to register her seventh. Alicia Froling notched up 8 points and 6 rebounds, whilst Keely Froling registered 6 points and 7 rebounds as the Australians once again had the lion’s share of production for the Mustangs. Alicia Froling also produced a solid performance against UCF, collecting 11 points and 6 rebounds in a 66-54 loss.

Despite playing limited minutes for South Dakota in an 86-50 rout of Western Illinois, Nicole Seekamp still had enough time to put up decent numbers. In just 21 minutes of play, Seekamp scored 16 points, whilst also collecting 8 rebounds and 6 assists. Jasmine Trimboli also had a solid game, scoring 9 points, and also tallying 5 rebounds and 4 assists as the Coyotes cruised from the outset. Seekamp’s talents were required slightly more urgently in the Coyotes’ second game of the week - a top of the table clash with in-state rival South Dakota State. The South Australian duly delivered, finishing with 21 points including 10-12 from the charity stripe. Seekamp also tallied 10 assists to complete a double-double and bagged four steals as South Dakota squeaked home, 80-75, to remain in control of the Summit League regular season title race. Trimboli again pitched in, finishing with 5 points and 5 rebounds. Seekamp was also named Summit League Player Of The Week for her performances, her fourth of the season.

Jess Gajewski eased into the week with a solid performance against UMKC, notching 11 points on 5-9 shooting as Grand Canyon got home by 9 points, 68-59. This performance was simply a precursor to a Player Of The Match performance against Chicago State. In an unexpectedly tight game, Gajewski was on fire, scoring 22 points on 7-10 field goal shooting and 5-6 free throws as Grand Canyon managed to eke out a 65-60 win.

In a tough week for Utah State, the Australian combination of Funda Nakkasoglu and Rachel Brewster provided some rare highlights for the Aggies’ fans. Against a Colorado State side that has only lost one game all season, Utah State were always predicted to be up against it, and things proved as such as the Aggies fell to a 91-67 loss. Despite this, Nakkasoglu was able to put up 20 points, hitting a perfect 5-5 from the line to go with 7-17 field goal shooting. Fresno State were the Aggies’ second opponent of the week, and an even contest ensued. Nakkasoglu scored another 22 points, and yet again was perfect from the charity stripe, shooting 7-7 free throws. Rachel Brewster also chipped in 7 points and 5 rebounds, but in the end Fresno State ran out 67-61 victors.

Hannah Young was given an apparent licence to shoot this week by Virginia Tech, but the Hokies ended the week with two close losses. Coming up against a slightly struggling Duke side, Young scored 15 points, but required 14 field goal attempts to reach that tally. Vanessa Panousis added 11 points of her own, but Virginia Tech couldn’t quite overcome the Blue Devils, going down 66-62. The Hokies then came up against Miami and Young again hit double figures, finishing with 15 points and 4 rebounds. Panousis added 7 points and 5 rebounds, but whilst the Hokies did manage to force overtime, Miami kicked again in the extra period to notch 17 points and finish 67-56 victors.

Claire Ioannidis started the week with the radar slightly off, but finished it well as North Florida split this week’s games. In a 75-61 loss to USC Upstate in the Ospreys’ first game of the week, Ioannidis did manage to contribute 15 shots, but shot just 5 of 16 for the game in doing so. Things proved slightly less difficult against conference newcomers NJIT, with North Florida cruising to a 72-49 victory. Much like the Ospreys’ performance, Ioannidis’ shooting was vastly improved from three days prior, hitting 4 of 8 from outside the arc on her way to a game-high 16 points. This performance also took Ioannidis past 400 points for the season, making the Victorian the eighth Osprey to achieve this milestone.

Hannah Kaser was given the opportunity to play some extra minutes last week, and her performances saw her continue to be given chances, which she took again this week. Although all of the Aussies struggled in the Gaels’ 66-47 victory over Gonzaga, they bounced back in the 95-53 thrashing of Portland. Kaser hit 5-6 from the field and 4-5 free throws to collect 14 points, whilst Carly Turner added 13 points of her own. Megan McKay was excellent around the basket, collecting 9 rebounds whilst also chipping in 4 points.