NCAA Women: Stephanie Reid delivers for Buffalo

An outstanding week for many Australians was perhaps highlighted by an Australia Day clash between a Wake Forest side featuring Alex Sharp and Boston College’s Australian pairing of Georgia Pineau and Taylor Ortlepp. Elsewhere, Buffalo’s Stephanie Reid finished the week with enough dimes to fill a piggy bank, while Courtney West set a Portland State school record for blocks in a game.

Stephanie Reid has been a facilitator par excellence in recent weeks, and continued her march up the national leaderboard for assists with two outstanding performances this week. Despite going down 89-75 to Ball State in the team’s first game of the week, Reid finished with a school record-tying 16 dimes to go alongside 10 points for her second double-double of the season.

https://twitter.com/UBLouieSpina/status/825092853307211782

The Victorian followed that up with 8 more assists in a 62-47 win over Western Michigan to move into the top 10 in the nation for assists per game. Fellow Australian Katherine Ups also put in a solid performance against Western Michigan, pulling down 5 offensive boards on her way to a game-high 11 rebounds in the win.

https://twitter.com/UBLouieSpina/status/825465651049410560

Kristy Wallace also sits in the top 50 in the nation for assists per game, and nudged her own average slightly higher this week as Baylor romped to a pair of wins. Wallace shot an efficient 3 of 4 for 7 points, but delivered 9 assists in a 91-49 demolition of Kansas State which saw the Bears lead 44-14 at halftime before cruising to victory. The Queenslander wasn’t quite as influential in a 92-58 dismantling of Oklahoma, but still dished out 6 assists as Baylor continued to run roughshod over the Big 12, moving to 9-0 in conference play and 20-1 overall.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8sWDN7RBu4

Whilst Reid and Wallace were setting up teammates with aplomb, Rachel Brewster was doing all the scoring herself, tying her career high in a 68-58 loss to New Mexico. Brewster shot 9-18 for 22 points, but the remainder of the Utah State roster shot just 30%. The Aggies took the lead into halftime, but with New Mexico hitting their shots at nearly 60% in the second half, the game quickly flipped after halftime and saw New Mexico run out winners. Brewster again led the scoring for the Aggies against Fresno State, shooting 7-16 from the field for 19 points as Utah State picked up their first ever win over the Bulldogs, running out 52-47 winners despite scoring just 8 points in the third quarter. Freshman Shannon Dufficy was also instrumental in the win, finishing with 17 points on 6-11 shooting and 6 rebounds. With Eliza West also tallying 7 points, over 80% of Utah State’s points in the win were scored by Australians.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cp-Bnba3t_M

Geraldine McCorkell also enjoyed a high scoring week as Idaho split a pair of games in a week that saw the Vandals host both Montana schools. Shooting 7-17 from the field and a perfect 6-6 from the line on the way to 22 points, McCorkell also collected 13 rebounds but couldn’t prevent Montana State from taking a late lead in the fourth quarter and holding on for a 66-61 win. Fortunately, things turned out slightly better against Montana. McCorkell shot far more efficiently, finishing 6-9 from the field to score 16 points as Idaho dismantled their opponents 75-50 to quickly make amends for the loss to Montana State.

https://twitter.com/VandalsWBB/status/825513551703875584

Alex Sharp has had one eye on her Wake Forest side’s game against a Boston College side featuring Taylor Ortlepp and Georgia Pineau all season, and it just so happened that the game fell on Australia Day. Looking for a third consecutive win, Wake Forest jumped out to an early lead and eased their way to a 71-55 win, with Sharp instrumental in the victory. The freshman shot 5-9 from the field to be one of four Wake Forest players in double figures and also collected 9 rebounds. Pineau was also solid, finishing with 12 points and 4 rebounds, whilst Ortlepp scored 6 points and dished out 5 assists in a gallant Boston College side. However, the joy was short-lived as the Demon Deacons travelled to Cameron Indoor Stadium to play nationally ranked Duke. Whilst Sharp was able to contribute 9 points and 7 rebounds, Wake Forest were outmatched for most of the contest, succumbing 71-43 and finishing the week 13-8 for the season.

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Southern Methodist may have gone down in a pair of tight games, but without Alicia Froling’s efforts, it would have been a far tougher week for the Mustangs. In a nail biter against nationally ranked South Florida, Froling’s 13 point, 10 rebound performance helped Southern Methodist take the game down to the final possession, but a potential game-winner was well short and South Florida escaped with a 52-51 win. Moving on to a road trip to Tulsa, and any chance Southern Methodist had was all but killed off early as Tulsa jumped out to a 20-9 lead before easing to a 66-59 win. Froling again produced for the Mustangs, shooting 4-9 for 11 points and also collecting 7 rebounds. Stephanie Collins was also solid, scoring 9 points and pulling down 4 boards of her own.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCTvTQe9N4E&feature=youtu.be

Courtney West was outstanding last week and may have gone one better this week with a record-breaking performance in a stinging 77-68 loss to Sacramento State. West shot an impressive 10-14 from the field to finish with 20 points and hauled in 8 rebounds, but it was her shot-blocking ability that was most remarkable. The Sutherland product swatted away 7 shots in the first half before adding another after halftime to set a single-game blocks record for Portland State. However, Sacramento State won the final quarter 27-10 to steal the win as the Vikings struggled against their opponents’ press.

https://twitter.com/ViksWBB/status/825459774489649152

Saint Mary’s made it six wins from their last seven games, and they had Carly Turner to thank. The junior may have hit just 2-8 from the field on her way to 6 points and 7 rebounds against San Francisco on Australia Day, but the second of those made shots was a delicious 17 footer with under half a second on the clock to hand the Gaels a 64-62 win. The Gaels almost fell victim to a late shot against Santa Clara in their second game of the week, but escaped with a 55-53 win after holding their opponents to 6 points in the final term. Whilst Turner’s late game heroics weren’t required on this occasion, the Victorian did finish just shy of a double-double with 9 points. Megan McKay also performed admirably, finishing with 8 points and 9 rebounds of her own, whilst Jasmine Forcadilla chipped in 4 points in 17 minutes of action.

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Elyse Kiploks has been known for getting it done on the boards all season, averaging nearly 7 per game, but this week added a bit of scoring to her production. Despite averaging under 5 points per game, Kiploks hit 6-7 from the field to tally an impressive 15 point haul to go with 8 rebounds as Charleston Southern used a 27-14 third quarter to get past Gardner-Webb, 64-57. The senior wasn’t quite able to have as much scoring impact against Longwood, finishing with 8 points on 3-4 shooting. However, another 8 rebounds saw Kiploks again have an impact as Charleston Southern exploded after halftime to cruise to a 62-47 win following a tight first half.

Northern Illinois have been an outstanding scoring side all year, and have Courtney Woods to thank for a large part of that. The sophomore opened the week with 15 points on 4-11 shooting as the Huskies dismantled Kent State 93-72 thanks mainly to a 37 point third quarter. Woods then went even better against Ball State, and the Huskies needed every one of the 21 points that the Queenslander scored. Down by six after a quarter, the Huskies managed to claw their way back into the game to secure a 101-96 win in a game that saw Ball State take 20 more shots than Northern Illinois. However, the Huskies' 56% shooting meant that the disparity in shots meant little as they moved to 8-1 in conference play.