NCAA Women: Seekamp's heroics guide Coyotes home

The Aussie women in college continued to collect awards this week, with Nicole Seekamp, Alicia Froling and Geraldine McCorkell all receiving recognition for their outstanding play. Meanwhile, Saint Mary's Australian quartet put together some solid performances of their own to help the Gaels to a win over fellow Australian Emily Simons and Pacific.

In what turned out to be a historic week for South Dakota, Nicole Seekamp was at the forefront as the senior picked up the Summit League Player of the Week award for her performances in two wins for the Coyotes.

Taking on Marena Whittle and North Dakota State, Seekamp put in yet another of her trademark all-round performance. The senior scoring 25 points on 9/14 field goal shooting, including the game-tying shot as time expired. Seekamp also contributed 10 assists, 4 rebounds and 4 steals to finish with a double-double as the Coyotes required double overtime to get past the Bison. Whittle finished with a double-double of her own, scoring 21 points and collecting 10 rebounds in another outstanding display.

South Dakota then traveled to in-state rival South Dakota State, whom they had not beaten on the road in 25 years. Things didn’t appear too likely to change for much of the game, as South Dakota took a 42-37 lead into the final quarter. The Coyotes managed to run down the Jackrabbits though, with Seekamp leading the way with 23 points and 7 assists as South Dakota won the final quarter 26-16 for a history-making 63-58 victory. Seekamp once again proved clutch, scoring South Dakota’s last 9 points to bring the Coyotes back from 55-54 down for a 5 point win.

Alicia Froling also picked up an award for her performance this week, with a double-double against Memphis earning the sophomore a position on the American Athletic Conference weekly honour roll. In an ever-improving Southern Methodist side, Froling shot an impressive 8/11 from the field on her way to 19 points, and also pulled down 11 rebounds as the Mustangs picked up a 69-61 victory. Froling moved into the top 10 in career blocks for SMU, with 2 in this game taking her tally to 76. Keely Froling chipped in 5 points in the win.

Funda Nakkasoglu became just the third Utah State player to have multiple 30 point games in a single season as the sophomore led the Aggies to a 66-53 win over Air Force. Shooting 14/24 from the field, Nakkasoglu scored more than half her side’s points, finishing with 34. Rachel Brewster added 10 of her own to give the Aussies two-thirds of Utah State’s scoring production as they cruised to victory.

Nakkasoglu again poured in the points against Colorado State, but the Aggies found things a lot harder, going down 69-49. Nakkasoglu finished with 19 points, shooting 6/14 from the field and 7/10 from the charity stripe, but the Colorado State defense was able to shut down Utah State almost with ease at times, stifling the Aggie offence for long periods.

Buffalo went down in two tight games this week, but you couldn’t fault Stephanie Reid’s performance for the Bulls as she contributed in all facets across the week. In a 68-63 loss to Ball State, Reid knocked down 4/6 field on her way to 11 points, and also brought her teammates into the play well, finishing with 7 assists and 4 rebounds. Reid was ably assisted by Liisa Ups, who chalked up 9 points, 4 assists and 3 rebounds in the loss. The story was almost identical in Buffalo’s second game of the week against Akron. Reid once again scored 11 points, this time with 6 assists, 5 rebounds and 3 steals, yet the Bulls went down in another close one, with Akron running out 69-61 victors.

Washington State were hardly expected to get close to their opponents this week, but performances like Louise Brown’s led to the Cougars almost snagging two massive upsets. Brown was a menace on the boards as Washington State dispatched USC with surprising ease, finishing with 10 points and 13 rebounds as the Cougars ran away with the game late to grab a 73-61 victory over the #25 Trojans. The sophomore forward’s production was limited to the offensive end against UCLA, but 5/8 shooting from the field helped Brown to another 13 point performance. The Cougars would fall just short though, as UCLA managed to hold on for a 75-73 victory.

Idaho picked up two wins this week to continue their solid start to conference play, with Geraldine McCorkell playing a lead role and being rewarded with the Vandals' Female Athlete of the Week award. Contributing at both ends of the floor, McCorkell was a perfect 4/4 from the line on her way to a 13 points and 9 rebounds as the Vandals easily handled Northern Arizona 72-51. Southern Utah proved to be a slightly tougher test for Idaho, but McCorkell once again led from the front, contributing 14 points and 8 assists as Idaho eased to a 62-51 victory to complete a perfect week.

It was yet another solid week for the Aussies at Saint Mary’s, with Lauren Nicholson leading the way in the Gaels’ 82-73 victory over Pacific. The undoubted leader of the Saint Mary’s side, Nicholson was her usual solid self from the line, knocking down a perfect 8/8 coupled with 7/16 from the field to finish with 22 points. Nicholson also collected 10 rebounds to finish with a double-double, her second of the season. Megan McKay and Carly Turner also added solid contributions. McKay continued her sterling freshman year with 9 points and 7 rebounds, whilst Turner maintained the form that led to last week’s Athlete of the Week award, finishing with 8 points and 4 rebounds.