2017/18 AUSSIES IN DIVISION 1 COLLEGE UPDATE- WOMEN
Appalachian State Mountaineers
Sophomore Nicola Matthews has started 12 out of 15 games this season for an average of 6.3 points on 41% three-point shooting and 1.9 assists while she has brought some strong form into the New Year, notching double-digits in her first two games of 2018 while shooting 7-9 from the three-point line.
In her senior year for Baylor, Kristy Wallace is doing everything on court this season for a relatively young team. Prior to the season beginning, Wallace stated she wants to become more of a scorer and is collecting 10.5 points (third for the team) to go with 4.5 rebounds (fourth), 5.3 assists (first) and 1.1 steals (fourth) per game while she also is placed fifth for blocks. Wallace is achieving all of this in just 27 minutes of game-time with the Bears owning a 14-1 record.
Boston College Eagles
Georgia Pineau and Taylor Ortlepp are two of the three Boston players to be averaging double-digits in scoring this season, combining for over 22 points a game. Pineau has been strong in the paint, leading the team for rebounds (8.2) and blocks (1.4) while her passing cannot be underrated either with an average of 3.2 assists. Countering Pineau’s interior play, Ortlepp is shooting 31% from deep and her 17 total steals is a team-high.
Equal to Utah State in terms of the team with the most Australian representation, Buffalo sport four Aussies on their roster. Starting all 14 games so far, Katherine Ups is scoring 8.4 points per contest with more than a steal per game while Stephanie Reid has also started every game she has played (ten) for 9.3 points and 2.8 steals as she aims to make another All-Defensive team.
Coming off the bench, Lissa Ups and Courtney Wilkins have showcased their worth through a few games but have not been able to secure much court time, averaging just eight minutes each.
California Golden Bears
A guard, Sara Anastasieska is a redshirt sophomore for the Bears who is carving out a role for herself. She began the season with six points, a mark she has not been able to reach since but when she has received minutes, her three-point shot has proven to be an effective weapon that hopefully the Bears continue to utilise as the season wears on.
CSU Northridge Matadors
The daughter of Darren Smith, Jordan Smith has only featured in two games for the Matadors over the 2017/18 season, both coming in December.
On the back of four straight wins, Dayton have improved to a 10-4 record and Maddy Dennis (who has started one of those games) has been a solid contributor with 4.6 points and 4.2 rebounds.
Abi Curtin has only been averaging seven minutes of court time but is making the most of it with three points and 2.1 rebounds which included an offensive rebound per contest. Unusually, the Pioneers have a 3-3 home record but a 6-2 away record to keep them near the top of the Summit League.
Eastern Illinois Panthers
After starting the season with a win, the Panthers have had nothing to celebrate with a 13-game losing streak. Having doubled her scoring last season to 16 points per game, Grace Lennox continues to be the driving force for the side at the offensive end at 15.3 points this year but she has only played eight games which has not helped the side’s cause.
She has been joined by freshman compatriots Grace McRae (6.6 points and 3.9 rebounds per game) and Lana Marov (2.3 points) in 2017/18.
Eastern Washington Eagles
Brittany Klaman had a quiet start to the season with the Eagles but has started nine of her past ten games to bump her averages up to 3.3 points and 2.4 assists. Her work at the defensive end has been a major reason for her getting a starting role as well, now sitting sixth overall for steals at Eastern Washington and second for blocks.
Having sat out last season, Funda Nakkasoglu is making up for lost time with Florida as their leading scorer at 15.7 points per game. She is shooting 43% from the field and 37% from deep and has only dropped below double-digits in scoring twice this campaign. Her season-high of 25 points came against Richmond on November 21 when she drained 7-9 from the three-point line while her 2.6 assists is also good for third amongst the team.
Fresno State Bulldogs
The Bulldogs have welcomed two Aussies in Genna Ogier and Bree Delaney this season with both players showcasing their talents with a couple of starts already. Delaney has been a consistent three-point shooter, knocking down six three’s for 28 points late last year while her 1.8 assist average is good for third for the team. Ogier has started 11 out of 15 games so far, averaging 4.3 points while also pulling down two offensive boards per contest.
Gardner-Webb Runnin’ Bulldogs
Kate Stainer has not been able to enjoy much court time through the 2017/18 season so far but has hit the court for 11 out of 14 games which will give her some confidence. The Bulldogs are also flying with an 11-3 record, including an 8-1 record at home.
Grand Canyon Antelopes
Finding form after a 3-8 start to the season, the Antelopes have won five in a row and Jessica Gajewski has been a barometer for the team, hitting double-figures in each of her past four outings to increase her production to 13.3 points per game. Gajewski has been very efficient offensively, with shooting splits of 46% from the field, 39% from the three-point line and 94% from the free-throw line.
Hawaii Rainbow Wahine
Hawaii have three Aussies in their line-up but only Amy Atwell is receiving consistent minutes and she is averaging 4.4 points per game. Courtney Middap and Mackenzie Clinch Hoycard will be hoping to see more court time as the season wears on with their team currently owning a 7-8 record while they are winless in their conference.
Houston Baptist Huskies
Sitting fourth in the team for points (7.5) and assists (2.0), Lauren Calver is an important part of the Huskies line-up and they will need the forward to continue to crash the glass and increase her rebounding numbers if they are to get on the positive side of the ledger. At 4-9, the Huskies have not won on the road this season.
One of Idaho’s leaders at the offensive end, Geraldine McCorkell is recording 14.9 points and a team-high 6.1 rebounds per game. In her senior year, she will be keen to sign off on a positive note but the Vandals have struggled to put together winning streaks and sit at just 6-9. Scoring 20+ six times this season, McCorkell’s best game came against TCU in November when she tallied 22 points, 12 rebounds, four assists and a steal.
Indiana State Sycamores
Ashley Taia has only managed seven games this season due to an ankle injury which forced her to miss the entire month of December. In positive news, she returned in the New Year with 12 points which was the fourth game out of seven which she notched double-digits.
Iowa State Cyclones
In her junior year, Bride Kennedy-Hopoate has started half her games and her ability to get to the free-throw line has helped her push her scoring average to 7.6 in limited minutes. She also sits third for the club for rebounds, exemplifying her hard-nosed style of play.
Minnesota Golden Gophers
Holding down the paint for Minnesota, Jessie Edwards leads the side with a total of 15 blocks, almost double the amount of any team mate. At the other end of the floor, she is shooting 53% for 4.4 points and 5.6 rebounds (second most) per contest to help the Gophers to a strong 13-4 record.
Mississippi State Bulldogs
Freshman Chloe Bibby had an impressive start to her time with the Bulldogs, debuting with ten points before backing up with 13 in her second game. She has reached double-figures on two more occasions with her best game coming against Louisiana on November 9 when she tallied 13 points and seven boards but her form has tapered off in recent weeks as she has only averaged seven minutes per game over her last three outings.
Montana State Bobcats
Rebekah Hatchard’s pure stroke has been utilised by the Bobcats this season with her 6.5 points per game coming at 48% while she is shooting 39% from long range and 84% from the charity stripe on the third most amount of attempts for her team. Just 1-6 on the road, Montana State will be aiming to make the most of their next three games at home where they are unbeaten so far this season.
New Orleans Privateers
Nicole Hutchins has not bothered the scorer’s table yet in seven games for New Orleans but she has shown her ability to get on the glass with two rebounds per contest.
Northern Illinois Huskies
With a couple of gun players graduating last year, Courtney Woods has more responsibility at the Huskies but she is enjoying the new role, averaging 20.5 points per game which is four points more than last season. She rung in the New Year with a 39-point performance against Kent State, drilling 7-10 from beyond the arc to push her overall mark from the three-point line to 38% while her defence has also continued to improve, upping her steals per game average to 1.4.
Freshman Anneli Maley’s minutes fluctuated a little at the start of the season but she is now receiving a consistent 10-20 minutes per night for Oregon who sit at 15-2. Maley’s trademark hustle has been on show with 3.4 rebounds per game to her name and she has also tallied the most offensive boards for a non-starter on the team.
After playing 17 minutes in her first game of her junior year, Tylah King has not been able to find a steady role within the line-up and has played just seven games while freshman Issy Parker has hit the court just once so far in her freshman year.
There have been two Australian additions to the Waves’ roster in 2017/18 in Monique Andriuolo and Mia Satie. Shooting 46% from the field, Andriuolo is collecting a modest 5.2 points per game but her team-high 13 total rejections have been a huge positive for the team. Satie is only averaging 1.3 points but has already received two starts to boost her confidence.
Portland State Vikings
Known as a rim protector, Courtney West has done nothing to dissuade those views with an incredible 34 blocks over 14 games so far this season while she also leads the team in steals with 22 overall. The Vikings’ defensive backbone, West is also doing work at the other end of the floor with eight points per game and her 2.4 assists is good for second on the team.
St. Francis Terriers
St. Francis have five players on their roster that have started every game they have played this year and three of them are Aussies in Amy O’Neill, Alex Delaney and Jade Johnson. O’Neill has missed two games but leads them in assists with 4.8 while she sits equal-first alongside Johnson for steals with a total of 24.
Johnson also paces the Terriers with 14.2 points and 4.4 rebounds (second on the team) and is shooting a very impressive 45% from the three-point line. O’Neill is the other player averaging double-figures in scoring with 10.2 and her eight total blocks is double what any team mate has tallied.
Saint Mary’s Gaels
A school famous for their Australian connection, St. Mary’s have two compatriots playing together in 2017/18 through Jasmine Forcadilla and Megan McKay. Both players have started all 15 games of the season with McKay leading the team with 14.5 points on 57% shooting while she is also pulling down 6.8 rebounds. Forcadilla is developing her three-point shot to help her to 8.6 points, her 3.5 assists is a team-high as is her average of 30 minutes per game.
San Francisco Dons
Bec Black had a modest start to the season with San Francisco, getting some big minutes while averaging two points and two rebounds but she has not played since mid-December which has halted any momentum she may have been carrying.
Santa Clara Broncos
Dru Toleafou missed the opening two games of the season but since then, has notched double-figures five times including a 12-point performance in her most recent outing that helped snap a five-game losing streak for the Broncos. Her 4.5 rebound average is also good for fourth in the team.
The road has not been kind to SMU, starting 2017/18 with an 0-7 record away from home and they have also lost their past four after squaring the ledger at 6-6 in December. Stephanie Collins is flying the Aussie flag solo this season following an injury to Alicia Froling and is averaging four points and four boards per game.
South Dakota Coyotes
Jasmine Trimboli is finding form in recent weeks and that has coincided with a five-game winning streak for the Coyotes. Trimboli did not hit double-digits until December but since then, has scored 12+ on four occasions. That included a mighty performance against Western Illinois on January 4 when she tallied 19 points on 8-11 shooting, nine rebounds, three assists and five steals.
Coming off her debut with the Opals late last year at the FIBA Asia Cup, Alanna Smith should be full of confidence and she is playing like it as a starter in all 16 games. She has increased her point production from 9.1 to 13.5 per game and her rebounds from 5.4 to 8.0 while shooting 50% from the field. Smith also recorded 61 blocks and 25 steals last season and with half of this season to go, she has already tallied 36 and 14 respectively.
Tiana Mangakahia is flying for Syracuse, earning two ACC Player of the Week awards already. Her most recent honour came just last week when she scored an incredible 44 points, including 20-21 shooting from the free-throw line, which was the second highest scoring effort of a female or male Syracuse player in school history. Even without putting points on the board herself, Mangakahia has been extremely influential for the Orange offensively, leading the entire nation for assists with 10.4 per game which has helped her to nine double-doubles this season.
TCU Horned Frogs
Ella Hellessey is not seeing much court time for the Frogs in her sophomore season but when she is getting off the bench, she is maintaining her numbers from last year with two points and 2.2 rebounds per game.
Chantel Horvat came to the Bruins with high expectations and she shot out of the blocks with ten points and 12 points respectively over her first two games. She has not reached those heights again but is influencing all areas of the court while shooting 39% from the field and 34% from downtown. At 11-4, UCLA once again look like a dangerous team in the Pac-12 Conference.
USC do not have a big roster and have only played nine players all year. Dani Milisic has appeared in 13 contests but has not been able to make much of an impact yet through 15 games.
UT Rio Grande Valley Vaqueros
Getting the job done at the defensive end, Megan Johnson leads her team in steals and she has also proven her ability to be a distributor to sit fourth for assists. Not as required to hit the scoreboard, Johnson’s shot has not been falling this season but she still sits fifth with 6.4 points per contest thanks to a strong conversion rate from the free-throw line.
Utah Valley Wolverines
A key member off the bench for the Wolverines, Ally Bates was promoted to the starting line-up for the first game of the New Year. She is not afraid of shooting the long ball, hitting the fourth most amount of three’s for the team but is only averaging a modest 2.9 points per game.
Utah State Aggies
At just 3-12, Utah State have been struggling but their situation would be far worse if it were not for an Australian quartet who make up four of the top five scoring spots on their roster. Combined, they are averaging almost 40 of the team’s 61.6 points per contest with Olivia West’s 15.5 points a team-high. She also sits second for assists, only behind Eliza West who is pacing the Aggies with 4.2 dimes and 1.2 steals.
Shannon Dufficy is providing a strong presence inside, especially on the offensive glass, with 7.8 points and 8.8 rebounds overall while Rachel Brewster is combining impressive perimeter defence with 10.3 points to join Olivia West in double-figure scoring.
Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Known as a defensive gun who is also dominant on the glass, Alex Sharp is living up to that reputation with a team-high 7.8 rebounds while sitting fourth overall for blocks. Her shooting percentage was relatively low last year and she has bumped that up to 42% for 9.6 points which is two points more than her average last season, helping Wake Forest to a 10-6 record.
After missing the first two games, it has not taken long for the Seahawks to catch on that Taylah Simmons is a player they need on the court. She has now started six games for the season, including the first two to start 2018 and three of her top four scoring performances of the campaign have coincided with Wagner’s three wins. Simmons also recorded a double-double of 15 points and ten rebounds today on 7-12 shooting in another strong outing.
Washington State Cougars
Following an injury prone 2016/17, the best thing for Louise Brown so far has been playing every game of the season while starting all but one of them. The Cougars are benefiting greatly from her play too, with the forward averaging 7.4 points and a team-high 6.8 rebounds.
Weber State Wildcats
Playing only five games so far this season, Gina O’Brien is averaging just 1.6 points but she will be enjoying the team’s success as they sit at 10-4 after starting 2017/18 with six wins from their first seven contests.
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