Ioanna, Christina, and Alex shooting lights out in 2021!
A sharp-shooting way to welcome the new year was the order of the day for recent games in NCAA and NAIA basketball by Ioanna Krimili, Christina Katsamouri, and Alex Priftis.
Ioanna Krimili (University of San Francisco) had an outstanding performance on December 30th vs San Diego with 22 points, 10/10 free throws, 6 rebounds and 2 steals in 31 minutes of action while she received the West Coast Conference (WCC) Freshman of the Week award for the fourth time (second consecutive). Ioanna also received the WCC Player of the Week award on December 14th, after tremendous output, playing all 50 minutes of her 2OT win against Fresno State, to continue her remarkable run and leadership in a win against Ornela Muca’s California Berkeley. So far this season she is averaging 19.4 points and 3.5 rebounds per game, adding 27 assists and 9 steals. Ioanna’s shooting percentages are for the ages and among the best in the entire NCAA, with 47/92 FGs (51%), 27/53 3-pointers (an insane 50.9%), and 34/37 FTs.
Christina Katsamouri of Manhattan College (New York) had 14 points, 3 rebounds, 1 steal and 1 assist, while shooting 6/8 FGs and 1/2 from three-point range, and did everything her team needed while returning from an ankle injury, on January 2nd vs St. Peters University in 25 minutes of action for a 69-55 MAAC conference win. Christina thus helped the Manhattan Jaspers improve to 5-3 for the season.
Ioanna Chatzileonti is having an amazing freshman season so far at Kansas University while earning the Big 12 Conference Freshman of the Week award on back-to-back weeks to start the season, November 30th and December 7th. She ranks 3rd in the Big 12 in defensive rebounds and 5th in overall rebounds and blocks. In her most recent game, a 78-59 win against New Mexico State on December 29th, she scored 11 points and had 8 rebounds and 1 steal in 23 minutes of action. So far this season she is averaging 8.6 points and 9.4 rebounds per game, in a second best 25.8 MPG, helping her team to a 5-2 record.
Ivana Raca of Wake Forest University is continuing her legacy as a senior and is logging heavy minutes for Wake. In her most recent game, an away 74-77 overtime loss at North Carolina on December 20th, she was 1 rebound shy of a double-double (a feat she accomplished – 14-12 – at home against North Carolina on December 10th) finishing the game with 11 points, 9 rebounds and 3 assists in 36 minutes. So far this season she is averaging 15.9 points and 8.7 rebounds per game.
After a banner year and an American Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year award, Elena Tsineke is back in action with her top-20 Bulls, who are 7-1 for the season, with their only loss coming in a hard-fought 67-62 decision against 3rd ranked Baylor. In her first game of the new year, Elena helped her Bulls defeat her sister Katerina’s East Carolina team. A couple of games before the family affair, another Greek battle featured Elena against Sofia Gritzali and her Cincinnati Bearcats. In yet another win for Elena and the Bulls, Elena had 7 points in 15 minutes while Sofia had 2 points and 1 rebound in 10 minutes of action. Sofia welcomed the new year with a win against Wichita State on January 2nd, played 9 minutes and scored 3 points on 1/1 three-pointer, and added 1 rebound and a steal in a 65-59 win.
Paraskevi Koilia of Furman University is starting every game this season as a freshman, and set a new record to wrap up 2020 with 35 minutes in Athens, Georgia against UGA. In her first game of 2021, Paraskevi had 2 points, 7 assists, and 1 rebound vs Queens University in 27 minutes of action in a 67-53 win. In her freshman season, Paraskevi is averaging 2 pts, 3 rebounds, 1 steal, and an impressive 5.1 assists.
Alex Priftis of Judson University (Chicago) scored in double figures for the third time this season, and in 25 minutes of action managed 19 points, 7 rebounds, and 1 assist on 3/6 3pt shooting, 5/10 FGs, and 6/6 FTs on January 2nd in a 74-78 loss against St. Ambrose University of Iowa for a CCAC matchup. In 14.1 MPG Alex is shooting 10/25 from three-point range for 40% and 9/10 from the free-throw line.
In other notable internationals’ action recently, Ata Turgut on January 2nd in a 59-56 win vs New Hampshire scored 5 points, 1/1 3pt, 2/2 FGs, 2 rebounds and 2 assists in 17 minutes of action.