basketball

Brits in College 2020-21 – November/December

Our first recap of the 2020-21 season checks in on the top British players in the States.

NCAA Division I

Kyla Nelson and Emerald Ekpiteta have hit the ground running at FIU (3-3) after they both transferred in the off-season with the Brit duo combining to be key performers for their new side.

Former GB Under-20 guard Nelson started with 13 points, eight rebounds and four steals then poured in seven threes in a 23-point outing to inspire a 64-59 win at Jacksonville. Ekpiteta had four games with 10+ rebounds in the first six – including two double-doubles – with a big 17 points and 13 rebounds coming against FGCU.

GB international Savannah Wilkinson posted seven points and six rebounds in an opening 81-75 win for Florida State (4-1) over Florida before missing their last three games.

Loren Christie had eight points and six rebounds at VCU to earn a spot in the starting rotation and recorded a career-high of 17 rebounds against St Bonaventure. The sophomore forward earned a second start with five points, seven rebounds and four blocks to help Buffalo (5-2) to back-to-back recent wins.

Maya Hyacienth has become a regular starter for Rider (1-8) and helped them to a first win at NJIT with a career-high 20 points to earn Player of the Week honours, with fellow sophomore Lauren Saa previously joining her compatriot in the starting lineup against Army.

Sharpshooter Hannah Jump is hovering around the 40% mark from 3-point range for unbeaten #1 ranked Stanford (7-0) having hit five triples in a 15-point display at California to match a season-opening 15 points.

Khaleah Edwards began her senior year with 13 points, six rebounds and four assists – as well as 10 turnovers – as Wagner (0-1) were beaten by 43 points at Seton Hall in their only game so far, while Precious Adediran had two starts with Chicago State (0-3) including six points and five rebounds in late November.

Redshirt senior Jenelle Grant started the season with a best of 10 points before closing out 2020 with nine points in her role off the bench for Purdue (5-2) as they made a strong start.

Monique Esbrand contributed eight points, six rebounds and three rebounds in a first start of the season for Miami (1-5) which coincided with their only win. Emily Stradling opened with five points in 18 minutes off the bench for Mercer (6-3), while Grace Heeps has been a regular starter for Albany (2-4) with a season best of eight points in a recent loss at Fordham.

Meanwhile, Milly Knowles had four points and nine rebounds in her season opener for Eastern Washington (2-6) as part of four consecutive starts before coming off the bench with a season-high of six points in a tough 73-71 road win at Portland State.

NCAA Division II

There has been limited action across the whole of NCAA Division II with a number of delayed starts – and even cancellations to the season.

Sadie Russell scored 10 points for Flagler (1-1) upon her return to the US before firing in 27 points – including a perfect 6 of 6 from beyond the arc – along with 11 rebounds and four assists in an 82-78 victory.

The former Nottingham forward also put up a 17-point, 13-rebound double-double in an exhibition loss against DI side FIU with Nelson and Ekpiteta in opposition.

Charlotte Ellmore had 13 points and seven assists for West Florida in their 94-67 opening win as well as adding another 13-point display on the road at Lee in GSC action. Junior forward Shawnisay Millar also made a bright start to the season with 17 points in an opening 78-71 victory in the Lone Star Conference for Midwestern State (1-1).

Jade Mbam showed promise with seven points in an exhibition loss for Angelo State, and still awaits a first official game, while Hannah Dawson scored her first NCAA points with a three in a recent 60-55 road win for Texas A&M International (2-1).

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