Aussies Abroad: Bairstow, Drmic inspire wins in college

Aussies Abroad: Bairstow, Drmic inspire wins in college

The Australian quintet have started Mountain West Conference play on a winning note, with New Mexico and Boise State recording victories as the NCAA college season rolls on.

Australian Boomers forward Cameron Bairstow was at it again for the New Mexico Lobos, posting an equal season-high 29 points and 14 rebounds in Sunday’s 80-73 win over Colorado State.

The 23-year-old from Brisbane has become one of the most talked about players in college basketball over the past month on the back of some outstanding performances. Bairstow has scored 20-plus points in six of past seven games, averaging 22.3 points per game in that period.

Fellow Aussie and Lobos teammate Hugh Greenwood returned from injury for the first conference game of the season, posting 8 points and 3 assists in 34 minutes.

It was all smiles for the Boise State trio of Anthony Drmic, Igor Hadziomerovic and Nick Duncan as they started Mountain West play with an 86-79 win over Fresno State on Sunday.

Drmic, the team’s leading scorer this season, was at it again, posting 19 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists, while Hadziomerovic (9 points and 3 rebounds in 27 minutes) and Duncan (9 points on 3-of-4 3FG in 14 minutes) had strong contributions in the victory.

Australians enjoyed their most productive weekend of the NCAA season, with Ball State centre Majok Majok having the best game of his college career as the Cardinals recorded a convincing 94-58 win over Oakland City on Saturday.

A season-high 25 points on 7-of-10 shooting and 11-of-12 free throws to go with 18 rebounds would ensure Ball State would get the victory – just their third of the season.

In the opening game of America East Conference, it was Aussie Peter Hooley who would prove the difference, posting 25 points (7-of-11 FG and 6-of-9 3FG) 5 rebounds and 6 assists to inspire Albany to a comfortable 81-56 win over Hartford on Sunday.

An efficient outing from Venky Jois could not stop Eastern Washington from slumping to a second straight Big Sky Conference defeat to Idaho State, posting 15 points (7-of-8 FG) and 10 rebounds in 32 minutes.

Despite a two solid performances from Kate Gaze, the Saint Mary’s Gaels slumped to back-to-back defeats over the weekend as West Coast Conference play began in women’s NCAA college basketball.

The senior had 13 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists in 36 minutes during the 80-70 loss to San Diego before a heart-breaking 69-67 overtime defeat at the hands of BYU, with Gaze posting 14 points, 3 rebounds and 4 assists in 39 minutes.

It was losing start to Atlantic Coast Conference play for Vanessa Panousis (6 points and 10 assists in 27 minutes), with her Virginia Tech team going down 70-63 to Boston College on Monday.

Jayco Australian Opals star Lauren Jackson was again the instigator as her Heilongjiang team recorded back-to-back victories in the Women’s Chinese Basketball Association (WCBA), defeating Shandong 104-83 on Saturday.

It was another great all-round performance from Jackson, posting 25 points, 12 rebounds and 5 steals as her team improved to 8-6 ahead of a meeting with Jiangsu on Tuesday.

Fellow Opals star Liz Cambage dropped a game-high 34 points on 15-of-19 shooting as her Beijing team avoided an upset defeat, holding off Jiangsu 79-77 on the road.

The dominance of Boomers centre Luke Nevill in Taiwan continues, posting back-to-back 20-plus point games for his Taiwan Mobile team. Nevill had 24 points and 16 rebounds in 29 minutes on Saturday as Taiwan Mobile defeated Taiwan Beer, before 22 points and 6 rebounds in the 71-66 loss to top-placed Pure Youth on Sunday.

Boomers swingman Brad Newley was the star as his Gran Canaria moved to third on the Spanish ACB ladder, following an 83-78 road win over Fuenlabrada on Monday.

The two-time Olympian dropped a game-high 21 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the floor to go with 5 assists and 2 steals in 33 minutes as the Canary Island club continue their strong start to the season.

In the Ukraine, Daniel Kickert was at it again, helping his struggling Azovmash team to a rare VTB League victory over Neptunas 85-74 on Monday. The team’s leading scorer, Kickert posted 23 points (9-of-15 FG) 5 rebounds and 4 assists in just 26 minutes.

It was another narrow loss for Bologna is Italian Serie A action, with Aussie Brock Motum posting 9 points and 4 rebounds off the bench in the 80-79 defeat to Giorgo Tesi on Monday.

Australian Boomers guard Matthew Dellavedova enjoyed a rare start as the Cleveland Cavaliers came close to upsetting the red-hot Indiana Pacers in NBA action on Monday.

With injury sidelining Australian-born star Kyrie Irving and Jarrett Jack, Dellavedova earned the starting point guard role, playing a career-high 41 minutes in the 82-78 loss. The 23-year-old had 11 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists and two steals, including a shot clock-beating three-pointer during the second quarter.

CLICK HERE to watch the shot.

This performance came after Dellavedova posted 13 points on 4-of-4 from beyond the arc in 29 minutes during Sunday’s 89-82 loss to the Brooklyn Nets.

Fellow Boomer Andrew Bogut was again stuffing the stat sheet for the Golden State Warriors as they came away from the first weekend of 2014 with two wins, defeating Atlanta 101-100 on Saturday (6 points, 9 rebounds and 3 blocks in 18 minutes) before crushing the Washington Wizards 112-96 on Monday (15 points on 7-of-9 FG, 11 rebounds and 4 blocks in 26 minutes).

CLICK HERE to see Bogut’s incredible put-back slam.