American college basketball tipped off on Thursday (NZ Time) with some notable performances by Kiwi freshmen making their NCAA debuts.
Former Harbour Breeze guard Emme Shearer scored 14 points (4/5FG, 5/6FT) in her first game for the University of Portland Pilots as they won 82-70 at Seattle.
Also impressive in her first game was Canterbury’s Helen Matthews who earned a start for Wofford College. The Terriers beat Winthrop 65-50 with Matthews putting together a fine stats line of 9 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists.
Tayla Dalton, a teammate of Shearer last season, scored a team high 16 points in her first outing for St Mary’s College, California.
Playing alongside Dalton were 2019 Tall Fern Amy West and Jade Kirisome. The pair are not freshmen but they were making their debuts for St Mary’s having transferred from Liberty University and and Furman University respectively.
West had 11 points and 8 rebounds whilst Kirisome tallied 10 points as St Mary’s fell 81-73 to Virginia Commonwealth University.
In NCAA Division II play former New Zealand age-group representative Tessa Talo-Tomokino scored her first career points for Northeastern State in the Riverhawks 82-74 win against Missouri Western.
Talo-Tomokino redshirted the 2019-20 season, her first at Northeastern, so it has been a long wait for the shooting guard to get on court. She scored 4 points making both of her shots in 14 minutes of action.
It wasn’t just the women making a first-up impression.
Freshman Sam Mennenga impressed in his very first outing for Davidson College. The former Westlake forward was close to a double-double posting 12 points (4/6FG) and 9 rebounds as the Wildcats beat High Point 82-73.
Flynn Cameron, a former Junior Tall Black colleague of Mennenga, transferred from De Paul University in the off-season. He came up with 8 points and 7 rebounds in his first game for University of California Riverside.
In other games:
Tall Fern Akiene-Tera Reed (22 points) was instrumental in leading VCU to that 81-73 win against St Mary’s.
Charlotte Whittaker scored 11 points in just 12 minutes before fouling out as University of Colorado beat Western Colorado 77-50.
Fordham University beat Stony Brook with Waikato forward Kendell Heremaia scoring 6 points
Cantabrian Tsubasa Nisbett scored 6 points in Georgia Southern’s 70-58 loss to Jacksonville State.
St Mary’s College Gaels were well beaten by Memphis (73-56) – Dan Fotu scored 6 points for the Gaels.
Also on the receiving end of a loss was Kruz Perrott-Hunt. The combo guard scored 5 points as South Dakota University went down 84-61 at the Little Apple Classic.