Basketball: Kiwis on the Road Mon Feb 15

By Mike Lacey

Kirk Penney playing for the Illawarra Hawks. Photo / Getty Images
Kirk Penney playing for the Illawarra Hawks. Photo / Getty Images

Australian NBL

The pair of games on Friday sorted out the semifinalists from the also-rans in the Australian National Basketball League.

In Illawarra the Hawks did the Breakers a huge favour by eliminating the Adelaide 36ers from play-off basketball. The Hawks, aided by 13 points from Kirk Penney, won 106-95.

Earlier in the evening the Breakers had done what was required of them to secure a top four spot by defeating an undermanned Melbourne United 106-95. Development player and one test Tall Black Tohi Smith-Milner scored 5 points in his second outing of the season for United.

Earlier in the week Perth Wildcats travelled to Sydney without four starters and not surprisingly were downed 103-77 by NBL cellar dwellers Sydney Kings, 103-77. Jarrod Kenny scored 11 points, all in the first half, for the Wildcats but Dion Prewster went scoreless for the Kings.

Two early threes at the start of the fourth quarter from Leon Henry helped propel the Townsville Crocodiles to a convincing 85-68 victory against Cairns Taipans in the fourth and final 'Reptile Rumble' of the season.

Henry scored another 6 points on Saturday night as the Crocs rounded out their campaign with a thrilling 126-123 overtime success against the Sydney Kings.

Perth wrapped up the regular season disposing of Adelaide 100-84 on Sunday night. Jarrod Kenny dealt in pairs in this one - 2 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists.

Australian WNBL - Women

The Townsville Fire has almost wrapped up the Australian WNBL minor premiership for the second successive season. After demolishing Dandenong Rangers 89-49 in Townsville on Friday the Fire requires just one win from its remaining two games after to secure the premiership.

Micaela Cocks made a major contribution to the win with 13 points that included a couple of crucial threes whilst Chevannah Paalvast added a brace of points and assists.

Canberra Capitals broke a 21 game losing streak to upset top four contenders Perth Lynx on Friday winning 80-77. Toni Edmondson had 3 points and 3 assists for the Lynx.

The Lynx bounced back on Saturday night securing a crucial 88-85 come from behind victory at Sydney Flames. Edmondson weighed in with a handy 8 points and 5 rebounds effort as the Lynx remained second on the ladder.

Nelson native Jess Bygate also had 8 points for Adelaide Lightning as it cruised to an 88-62 victory in Melbourne against the Boomers on Saturday. Bygate shot a perfect 3 from 3 from the field plus a couple of free throws.

The dosage was almost repeated on Sunday as Adelaide won again beating Bendigo Spirit 92-78. 6 points and 2 rebounds for Bygate on that occasion.

Top placing's on WNBL ladder with one round to play - top four qualify for semifinals at end of the 24 game regular season:

16-6 Townsville Fire
15-8 Dandenong Rangers
15-8 Perth Lynx
14-8 SE Queensland Stars
12-10 Bendigo Spirit

Europe -Men

CAI Zaragoza made it to the Eurocup last 16 for the first time in club history by downing Szolnoki Olaj (Hungarian League champions) 70-80 on the road on Wednesday. 5 points, 1 rebound and a steal for Isaac Fotu as Zaragoza finished their group with a 4-2 record. Next up for Fotu and his colleagues is a home and away tie with Dolomiti Energia Trento, currently sixth in the Italian Serie A.

Back in Liga Endesa Spanish League action Zaragoza travelled to ACAM Murcia on Sunday and were beaten 110-102 with Fotu scoring 7 points (2/6FG) and pulling down a pair of rebounds.

Plymouth Raiders had a tough weekend facing British Basketball League leaders Newcastle Eagles (19-2) on Friday before travelling back south to take on Surrey Scorchers on Sunday.

Duane Bailey was most impressive on Friday scoring a team high 25 points (12/23FG) before fouling out at Newcastle with seven minutes to play. The power forward also garnered 7 rebounds and dished a pair of assists.

Just 8 points, a rebound and two steals for Bailey at Surrey on Sunday but more importantly Plymouth came from 7 points down at half time to win 73-64. The victory keeps Plymouth in eighth spot on the BBL ladder.

Europe - Women

Le Mura Lucca kept its impressive run in the Italian League going with a hard fought 74-71 road win at exotically named Siesto San Giovanni Geas. Once again Tall Fern Jillian Harmon led the Lucca effort with a 25 points haul

COB Calais (3-13) remains second from the bottom of the French League after going down 76-51 at home to Villeneuve on Sunday. Erin Rooney put up just two shots for Calais failing to score with either attempt. The former Canterbury guard had to settle for 4 assists and a brace of steals in 29 minutes of action.

American College - Men

Nebraska University Huskers has had a win and a loss in the last week. It lost its fourth game in five going down at Wisconsin on Wednesday, but comfortably beat Penn State 74-50 0n Saturday - the Huskers are now 6-7 in Big Ten Conference play.

Tai Webster contributed 9 points, a couple of rebounds and an assist against Wisconsin but failed to score against Penn.

Jack Salt didn't suit up for Virginia University as the Cavaliers moved to 9-4 in the Atlantic Coast conference with a 67-49 win against Virginia Tech on Tuesday and a narrow 63-62 loss on Saturday against Duke.

American College - Women

Career high points hauls for Stella Beck and Josie Stockill highlight the efforts of Tall Ferns overseas this week.

Former Hutt Valley High School standout Beck put together an almost perfect shooting performance as she recorded a career high 27 points in St Mary's Gaels 91-81 win At Loyola Marymont in West Coast Conference play. Beck was almost unstoppable shooting 10 from 11 from the field and a perfect 7 of 7 from the charity stripe. She wasn't too shabby at the defensive end either collecting 3 rebounds and 4 blocks

In the same conference Kalani Purcell continued her good season as Brigham Young Uni-Provo recorded wins against San Francisco and Santa Clara. Across the two games Purcell averaged 17 points, 15.5 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and 1.5 blocks.

BYU remain atop the conference standings with a 14-1 record, St Mary's (10-4) in third spot, with two weeks of the regular season to play.

Colgate University Raiders may have slipped to a fifth straight loss when beaten 78-55 by Army West Point but Tall Fern Josie Stockill had a game to remember. The Hawkes Bay product scored a career high 29 points in addition to securing 9 rebounds and effecting 7 blocked shots.

Stockill, who already holds the Raiders all time shot blocking record, is now just 18 points shy of 1,000 career points for the Raiders.

Cal State Northridge Matadors improved to 4-6 in Big West Conference play following a convincing 62-48 win against Irvine. Tessa Boagni has had a quiet time of late and that trend continued as the Cantabrian centre grabbed 4 rebounds to match 4 points (1-4FG).

Penina Davidson helped the University of California Berkley Golden Bears snap a four game losing streak with a strong 4pts/6rebs/4assists/2 steals stat line. The Bears improved to 3-11 in the Pac 12 Conference after defeating Arizona 75-56 on Sunday.

- NZ Herald

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