Aussies Abroad: Young Stars Shine Early In Season

Aussies Abroad: Young Stars Shine Early In Season

Australia’s young basketball talent continues to shine in the early stages of the NCAA Men’s and Women’s 2014/15, with a number of key performances helping proving vital to the success of numerous programs across the United States.

After helping the Jayco Australian Gems qualify for the U19’s FIBA World Championships in Russia next year, captain Kristy Wallace returned to Baylor University (8-1) to post a career-high 24 points as the Baylor Lady Bears defeated Idaho 88-70.

Despite an up and down season for the SMU Mustangs (4-5), Queensland’s superstar twin-duo of Alicia and Keely Froling each posted a double-double as the Mustangs fell just short against Texas A&M. Alicia (13 points, 15 rebounds, 4 blocks) and Keely (12 points, 13 rebounds, 2 assists) combined for over half of the team’s boards.

New South Wales’ guard Vanessa Panousis tied her scoring career-high, enjoying a 24-point outpouring (to with 5 assists and 3 rebounds) for the Virginia Tech Hokies (7-4) as they defeated Western Carolina 79-58.

Victorian guard Funda Nakkasoglu also had a career-best 24-points for the Utah State Aggies in their 65-61 thrilling victory over Northern State as the Aggies (3-6) embarked on their first winning streak in an otherwise difficult season.

Tasmania’s Grace Lennox leads all freshmen in minutes for the Eastern Illinois Panthers (3-7), averaging an impressive 31.8 MPG for the Panthers. Lennox forms an important part of the Panthers plans as they travel to take part in the ASU Tournament against undefeated Northwestern.

University of New Mexico senior Hugh Greenwood continues to enjoy his best statistical collegiate season to date, averaging 10.4 points, 4.5 reboards and 3.6 assists for the Lobos (7-3) in a competitive Mountain West Conference race. Greenwood was crucial as the Lobos dismantled Central Arkansas 76-55.

Peter Hooley (South Australia) and Sam Rowley (New South Wales) were big money for the University of Albany Great Danes as they defeated Siena 77-68. Hooley dropped 20 points to go with 3 rebounds and 2 assists, whilst Rowley chipped in with 11 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks for the Great Danes, whose roster also includes Mike Rowley (New South Wales) and Geremy McKay (Victoria).

Dane Pineau’s double-double was vital for the Saint Mary’s Gaels (6-1) as they ended Ceighton’s 24-game home streak to claim an impressive 71-67 victory for the Gaels. Pineau scored 13 points and hauled in 10 rebounds in a sophomore season in which he is averaging 7.5 points and 3.9 rebounds in 15 minutes of action per game. Fellow Australian’s at St. Mary’s includes Jock Londale (Victora) and Emmett Naar (New South Wales).

A lingering back injury has kept Boise State Broncos senior Anthony Drmic sidelined for the past three games. Drmic, who joined the Boomers with fellow NCAA star Hugh Greenwood at this year’s Sino-Australia Challenge selection camp, was averaging a career high 35.4 minutes per game for the Boise State Broncos before precautions were taken to assist his recovery. His absence has seen an increased role for fellow Australian Igor Hadziomerovic, who averaged 8.5 points and 5.5 assists for the Broncos in their victories over Adams State and Northwest Nazarene.

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