NCAA Women: Wallace named Big 12 Co-Freshman Player of the Week

The Aussie NCAA women have been very impressive so far this season. Michael De Lacy takes a look at the action and the standout performances over the last 2 weeks of NCAA Division I action.

Player and Team of the week

In this week's update, freshman Kristy Wallace and her Baylor Lady Bears squad earn player and team of the week honours. In selecting this week's player of the week, I was torn between Wallace, Lauren Nicholson who has been going on scoring rampage dropping some decent numbers, and sophomore Chelsea Roberts who lately has been playing very well for UT Martin.

Kristy Wallace - Courtesy SMU Athletics

Choosing the team of the week however wasn't difficult; no one came close to the Lady Bears. After only losing one game this season they are currently holding a very impressive 13 game win streak which started mid November. Wallace was chosen as this weeks player of the week after she was honoured and named in the Big 12 Co-Freshman of the Week. The Aussie has been impressing her coaches in her first season, producing 8.4 points and 2.1 rebounds a game.

Wallace played an important role when the Lady Bears with the impressive victory over Kansas State (74-44). She came off the bench and dominated, shooting 6-12 from the field and 5-7 from beyond the arc while compiling 17 points, 3 steals to go with 2 assists in her best game yet.

In the first 7 minutes, Baylor was on top of a 23-3 scoring run. Wallace had 5 three pointers in the first half to go with 3 steals. Wallace made this statement after her big game.

"It was imperative that someone would step up and shoot the 3-ball to stretch that zone out. It was lucky enough to be me today, but my teammates definitely helped me out with that."

Wallace entered the starting line-up and quietly compiled 5 rebounds, 3 assists. She played an impressive part in the game, making two crucial foul shots to seal the victory in the final 20 seconds of the game against West Virginia (66-62), giving the Lady Bears their 13th win a row and a very reasonable (14-1) record as they prepare for their next challenge against Iowa State.

Best of the rest

The Idaho Vandals were defeated by Eastern Washington (71-65). Senior Stacey Barr put up 8-23 from the field compiling 22 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and a sub par 7 turnovers in 36 minutes of action. Renae Mokrzycki had 4 rebounds and 4 points in 4 minutes. Geraldine McCorkell put up a very nice game off the bench with a near double-double compiling 9 rebounds and 14 points in 19 minutes. The Vandals shot a low 32% from the field but were able to lead the rebound count with 52 against 36 with only 4 offensive rebounds for Eastern Washington. The Vandals are now on sitting on a 7-7 record and next face Sacramento State.

Lauren Nicholson - Credit Tod Fierner/Saint Mary's College Athletics

Saint Mary's experienced a nail-biting 2 point overtime loss to Pacific (86-88) who boast another Aussie in Emily Simons. The narrow loss ended a 4 game winning streak by the Gaels. Lauren Nicholson had 23 points and 3 rebounds in playing the full 40 minutes. Hannah Kaser quietly had 2 points in 10 minutes while freshman Carly Turner grabbed 8 points and 5 rebounds in 15 minutes. Turner managed to knock down an important jumper with 36 seconds remaining in OT to give the Gaels a short-lived 1 point lead. Pacific's Simons had 2 points and 2 rebounds in their win. The victory gives Pacific a 13-3 record. Nicholson was another player who received some praise for her outstanding play after the junior was honoured with The West Coast Conference Player of the week after averaging 25 points per game.

Mollie McKendrick and the Boston Terriers have had a rough run lately and it continued against Navy where they were defeated 55-61. McKendrick compiled 7 points, 7 rebounds and 2 assists with a dismal 6 turnovers and 1/6 shooting. The Terriers are now in the midst of an 8-game losing streak and have not yet won a game on the road (0-7).

McKendrick's confidence was high as she entered the starting lineup and quickly broke out of her slump to lead her team with 16 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists in 35 minutes of action against Lafayette. McKendrick went 7/8 from the field and had 14 points in the first half on their way to a 5 point lead at the main break. In the second half the Terriers collapsed as they shot 9/31 from the field in going down to Lafayette 60-67.

Nicole Seekamp was impressive in a 65-81 loss to Oral Roberts. She went 4/11 from the field and 10/12 from the charity stripe for a team-high 18 points with 8 rebounds and 5 assists with 3 steals. In the Coyotes second game, Seekamp had a very impressive double-double with 16 points and a season-high 10 assists with 2 steals in 31 minutes of action. South Dakota managed to earn a high scoring 101-87 victory. The Coyotes were hot from the field shooting 55% and 50% from beyond the arc.

Funda Nakkasoglu - Courtesy Utah State Athletics

The Fresno State Bulldogs faced fellow Aussie Funda Nakkasoglu from Utah State in a tough battle and came up on top defeating them by 6 points (70-64). Alex Sheedy compiled 17 points and went 6/13 from the field with 2 rebounds in 38 minutes 2. Utah State's Nakkasoglu had a game high 19 points, 4 rebounds and 5 assists in 38 minutes. Nakkasoglu was able to get to the foul line on one of Utah State's possessions and made it a four-point game with 18 seconds to play.

Sheedy shot 7/19 from the field but still put together a nice game with 17 points, 4 rebounds and a consistent defensive effort with 3 steals in 34 minutes with a 65-43 victory over Nevada. The Bulldogs had 21 steals and forced a significant 33 turnovers, scoring 30 points off them. The Bulldogs are now sitting on a 12-3 record, 3 games into the new year while keeping a 8 game winning streak going.

UT Martin's Chelsea Roberts went 7/8 from the charity stripe on her way to 14 points and adding 2 rebounds and 2 steals in 30 minutes of action in a 76-63 victory over Eastern Kentucky. In the second game, Roberts continued to impress compiling 12 points including 4/9 from beyond the three-point line with 8 rebounds. It was also a very strong defensive effort as she grabbed a career and game high 7 steals to help her team to a 99-70 win over Morehead State. UT Martin grabbed 31 team assists and only had 6 turnovers in the victory.

The Virginia Tech Hokies experienced a 59-73 loss to North Carolina State. Sophomore Vanessa Panousis, who lately has been very important for the Hokies, led her team with 18 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists in 37 minutes of action. Her Aussie team-mate Hannah Young had 2 assists in the loss.

Southern Methodist's Australian twin towers have continued to dominate but it hasn't been enough as the Mustangs endured a 7 game losing streak. Taking on Houston in what was a tough game for the young team, they were defeated by 18 points (45-63). The Mustangs shot a disappointing 29% from the field for the game, but they did manage to hold on to the lead until the 11 minute mark of the second half after which Houston got their first lead of the game going on to win by a significant 18 points.

Alicia Froling went 5/14 from the field for 13 points and added 7 rebounds in 32 minutes while her sister Keely Froling contributed a near double-double in compiling 9 points and 10 rebounds in 30 minutes. Stephanie Collins had 1 rebound and was held scoreless in the loss. Alicia Froling led SMU in scoring for the third time this season, having scored in double-digits 12 times this season. The Mustangs will look to end their 7 game losing streak when they face Connecticut on the road.

Just Quickly

  • Georgia Stirton went 5/7 from the field and contributed 13 points, 3 assists in 33 minutes as Gonzaga snatched an 11 point victory over San Francisco (75-64). In their next game Gonzaga nailed their 6th victory in a row over Santa Clara 78-70. Stirton had 10 points and 3 rebounds in 28 minutes in the game.

  • Hawaii's Ashleigh Karaitiana had a near double-double producing a game high 9 rebounds with 9 points in a close loss against Cal Poly (70-65) in the Big West opener. Karaitiana returned to the starting line up despite struggling with her shot (2/11 FG). However she still put together a very nice game, contributing 5 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists and 5 steals in 36 minutes in a 70-65 loss against CSUN, the defending Big West Champions. The Rainbow Wahine now have a 8-6 overall record.

  • 5’7” Elidh Simpson shot 7/13 from the field and was able to grab a team high 18 points and 3 rebounds for St Francis Brooklyn as they fell to Mount St. Mary's Mountaineers 48-56.

  • Murray State's Bianca Babic struggled with her stroke in a 73-78 overtime loss to Jacksonville State. Junior Babic compiled 3 points and 6 rebounds in 28 minutes.

  • Bucknell's Claire Maree O'Bryan went 1/5 from the field for 4 points and 4 rebounds in a 77-71 win against Lafayette. In O'Bryan's second game, she went 3/10 from the field for 7 points and added 5 rebounds in a nail biting one point loss to Holy Cross (52-53). Bucknell is now currently sitting on 10-5 record.

  • Grace Lennox appeared in the starting line up for Eastern Illinois and quietly contributed 4 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals while nearly playing the entire game (39 minutes) in a 44-57 loss to Tennessee State. Eastern Illinois then had a 5 point victory over Belmont (77-72), with Lennox contributing 11 points and 5 assists in 34 minutes.