- National Teams
With the seventeenth week of the college basketball season completed, we take a look at all the top performing Brits in NCAA Division 1 in the past seven days as the Conference Championships take place.
Luke Nelson helped lead UC Irvine into the semi-finals of the Big West Tournament with 14 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists in a 63-54 win over UC Riverside. The sophomore guard scored 11 of his 14 points in the second half on 50% shooting from the field. The Anteaters are looking to make its first NCAA tournament with foreign talent, with Nelson leading the way.
Alex Young hit four straight free throws in the final minute to finish with 8 points, whilst adding 4 assists and 3 steals in the Anteaters’ win. The back-court duo both received honourable mentions in the Big West season awards. Will Saunders had 9 points and 9 rebounds from the bench in a 68-60 loss for Charleston Southern in the Big South Tournament quarter-final. As regular season champions, CSU will now play in the NIT with the field finalised this weekend.
Western Kentucky entered the C-USA Tournament as the 5th seeds after finishing the regular season with a 12-6 record following a final game loss to Old Dominion. In the quarter-finals, Ben Lawson had 3 points, 4 rebounds, 3 blocks and 3 steals as WKU defeated Marshall 59-45 to advance in the tourney. The Hilltoppers were unable to make the final after falling to an agonising 53-52 loss against UAB. Lawson had 6 points and 3 blocks in 23 minutes.
Iowa were beaten 67-58 by Penn State in the quarter-finals of the Big Ten Tournament. Conference Sixth Man of the Year, Gabe Olaseni, finished with 6 points, 7 rebounds (six offensive!) and 5 blocks in the loss. The Hawkeyes had won their final regular season game last weekend to finish as the number 3 seeds with Olaseni given a first career start.
“Gabe deserved the start,” said Adam Woodbury, who was benched for the first time in place of Olaseni. “I have the utmost respect for what he’s about and the person he is. He has helped me a ton in my career, I can’t even put into words how much he has helped me.”
Teddy Okereafor scored 8 points and had five assists as Rider fell to a surprise 68-59 defeat to Saint Peter’s in the MAAC Tournament quarter-finals. Jack Crook had 8 points and 8 rebounds as Seattle advanced to the WAC Tournament semi-finals with a 49-45 win over Chicago State. Shore Adenekan added four points.
Image credit: UCI