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Purcell bags double-double as Tall Ferns drop to first loss - Jul 8, 2017

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Despite an improved second half performance, the Tall Ferns have fallen to their first loss of the William Jones Cup, going down 79-60 to Republic of China 'Blue'. Kalani Purcell (188-F-95, college: BYU)'s double-double was the highlight of a game of two halves for the Ferns, who despite winning the second half, weren't able to overturn a 46-24 halftime deficit. Head coach Kennedy Kereama credited the opposition for their strong defensive work. 'I thought they were very aggressive with their defence, which made it very difficult for us to find solutions,' Kereama said after the match. 'Both ends of the court they caused some issues, and I was pleased that we were able to make some adjustments to find some success.' After opening the tournament 2-0, the Ferns made a slow start against a strong Republic of China 'Blue' side. But despite trailing by 22 at halftime, the Kiwis made sure they wouldn't roll over and fought back in the second half on the back of 15 points from Micaela Cocks (174-G-86, college: Oregon) and a strong all-round performance from Purcell. Purcell added 14 points and seven rebounds in the second spell to finish the match with a team high 18 points and 12 rebounds for her first double-double of the tournament. The improved second half showing wasn't enough for the Tall Ferns, but they'll take heart from the performances of Cocks, Purcell and Jillian Harmon (185-PF-87, college: Stanford, agency: LBM Management), who picked up 16 points and six rebounds. Cocks, though, had praise too for Zara Jillings (175-G-98), who came off the bench and added two assists and three rebounds. 'Zara came in and really gave us that spark and we made some shots, got a bit of energy, changed up some things defensively and found more work for us, so we can learn a lot from this loss and go away from the game with some positives,' Cocks said. The result sees the Tall Ferns fall to 2-1 at the tournament with two matches remaining. They'll meet Republic of China White, who are 1-2 so far, tomorrow evening at 6pm NZT.
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Jillian Harmon selected the top New Zealander playing abroad in last week's games - 6 days ago
We bring you last week's top performances from New Zealanders who are playing abroad and who all have had prior experience of national team duties at youth or senior level. This week's number one is an international power forward Jillian Harmon (185-87, agency: LBM Management). She was the major contributor in Napoli's victory against one of league's weakest teams Torino in the Italian Serie A1 in Sunday night's game.    [read more]

Kennedy Kereama resigns from Tall Ferns head coach role - 6 days ago
Long time New Zealand Tall Ferns head coach Kennedy Kereama has announced his resignation from the position with immediate effect. Kereama had been a member of the Tall Ferns programme for ten years having begun his association with the team as the video technician at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He was later appointed to the assistant coaching role under Shawn Dennis, before inheriting the Head Coach position 12 months later, when Dennis stood down. Kereama's most recent assignment was the...   [read more]

Jillian Harmon's double-double lands her Player of the Week award among New Zealanders playing currently abroad: - 13 days ago
Here is the weekly review of the top performing New Zealand players, who play currently abroad. This week's number one is an international power forward Jillian Harmon (185-87, agency: LBM Management). Sheto an easy victory against the closely-ranked Vigarano in the Italian Serie A1 in Sunday night's game.    [read more]

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