Huddle Time, Rangers v Lynx. (Photo: Cameron Lucas)

WNBL round 3 wrap

Game results:

UCC 78 v Melbourne Boomers 84

Perth Lynx  77 v Bendigo Spirit 72

Townsville Fire 79 – Sydney Uni Flames 76

Dandenong Rangers 65  v Perth Lynx 90 (Feature Game)

Adelaide Lightning 91 v Bendigo Spirit 63

Adelaide Lightning

Hosting the Bendigo Spirit at Titanium Stadium, the Adelaide Lightning put their foot down halfway through the third quarter and stormed away with a 28 point win.

Forward Nia Coffey went for a double-double, scoring 21 points and bringing down 20 rebounds in a dominant performance.

Nicole Seekamp, who’s been one the team’s most consistent performers this season, chipped in with 11 points and 6 assists, whilst fellow guard Lauren Nicholson had 14 points and 4 rebounds.

The Lightning pulled down 57 rebounds for the game, 38 of them defensively, never allowing the Spirit any second chances on their offensive end.

The win moves the Lightning into third place on the ladder, sitting 2-2 as they head to Bendigo next Saturday evening.

Bendigo Spirit

The first game in the Spirit’s road trip didn’t quite go to plan for the ladder leaders, eventually falling to the Perth Lynx 77-72.

Louella Tomlinson (16 points, 8 rebounds) stepped up as Bec Tobin managed just 2 points and 8 rebounds, while Nat Hurst and Kara Tessari went for 14 points and 11 points respectively.

The Spirit’s second game was unfortunately more of the same, only this time they were blown away by 56-29 points in the second half, going down 91-63 to the Adelaide Lightning.

Louella Tomlinson (16 points, 4 rebounds) and Nadeen Payne (15 points, 5 rebounds) were the only Spirit players who could manage to get into double figures.

Nat Hurst, Marena Whittle and centre Becca Tobin all had minimal impact on the scoreboard, the trio combining for just 21 points.

Import Barbara Turner backed up for her second game in the WNBL, logging 6 rebounds and 4 assists in her 21 minutes on court. The highly talented Turner says she’s still learning the local game but feels up for the challenge.

Turner will get more time with her new teammates next round as the Spirit face a double header round again. In the rematch they will host the Adelaide Lightning on Saturday night before visiting the Boomers on Melbourne Cup eve.

Dandenong Rangers

The Rangers were unable to take advantage of their run-and-gun game style when they hosted the Perth Lynx on Sunday afternoon, eventually losing by 25 points.

Betnijah Laney #44 shoots late against the Perth Lynx. (Photo Cameron Lucas)

Betnijah Laney continued her strong start to the season, almost going for a double-double with 16 points and 9 rebounds, but it still wasn’t enough to get the Rangers over the line.

Bec Cole (12 points, 7 rebounds) wasn’t able to get her rhythm going till it was too late, while Kayla Pederson (11 points) and Carley Mijovic (8 points) felt the full brunt of a brutal and physical Lynx team before Mijovic was fouled out.

An inability to contain the Lynx in the third quarter was the Rangers undoing, and they continually found themselves tactically mismatched and out-rebounded by the disciplined girls in red.

The Rangers host the Melbourne Boomers on Saturday afternoon in what promises to be a hard-fought game.

Melbourne Boomers

After losing to the Capitals in Geelong a week earlier, the Boomers travelled into enemy territory and were able to reverse the score line.

Five Boomers managed to score 12 points or higher, the even spread of scoring causing the Capitals big headaches. Lindsay Allan (17 points), Steph Talbot (17 points), Ezi Magbegor (15 points), Cayla George (12 points) and Maddy Garrick (12 points) all stretched the Capitals defence.

“We’ve had some great patches against Canberra,” George said, “That was our best complete game. Our last quarter wasn’t our greatest, but we certainly showed good character to hold on.”

“I’m a glass half full type of girl and maybe we could have executed a lot of things better in that last quarter, they’re certainly a talented team to come back at us the way they did.”

Steph Talbot bounced back convincingly after being out of sorts in the Sydney game, with 5 rebounds and 2 assists to go with her 17 points.

“She’s such a great defender,” George said. “I just told her to go the rack and go hard, get your confidence up and drive to the basket. I wanted her to know I’ve got her back one hundred percent.”

The Boomers will continue their Melbourne rivalry against the Rangers on Saturday afternoon at Dandenong Stadium, before the Boomers return home for the visiting Bendigo Spirit at the State Basketball Centre on Monday evening.

Perth Lynx

In the first of their double-header games, the Lynx welcomed the Bendigo Spirit to the Bendat Basketball Centre in Perth.

Alison Schwagmeyer #32 drives to the basket against the Dandenong Rangers. (Photo Cameron Lucas)

Asia Taylor (26 points, 9 rebounds) and Alison Schwagmeyer (16 points, 4 assists) were the standouts, giving the Lynx their second win of the season.

Britt McPhee had a quiet game after her 32 point game the week before, but coach Andy Stewart would have been happy with the 12 points they were able to score from turnovers in the win.

In their second game, against the Dandenong Rangers, the Lynx blew the game open with a 21-6 third quarter and never looked back.

It started off as a physical and tight affair with 19 fouls combined in the first half. The game was put to bed in the second half when Asia Taylor (23 points, 8 rebounds), Britt McPhee (21 points, 7 rebounds) and Allison Schwagmeyer (17 points) wrestled control from the Rangers.

With two wins in three days, coach Andy Stewart was understandably pleased with his team’s performance.

The Lynx return home briefly before flying out again for a Thursday night game against the Sydney Uni Flames.

Sydney Uni Flames

The Flames were down key personnel, missing Alex Bunton (leg), Tahlia Tupaea (concussion) and captain Belinda Snell (calf), but they still took the fight to the Townsville Fire.

One of the Flames’ most consistent performers so far has been Britt Smart, who led from the front with 24 points and 7 rebounds. Stand-in captain Alex Wilson played her best game for the season, with 21 points, 6 rebounds and 8 assists.

“Definitely my best performance of the season,” Wilson said. “Britt and I knew we would need to step up and lead from the front, and I feel we did just that.”

“The mood after the game was really positive, obviously we were disappointed we didn’t come away with the win when we probably should have. But I was super proud of the effort the girls put out there and we took it right to Townsville.”

The Flames will host Perth Lynx at 7pm on Thursday.

Townsville Fire

Assistant coach Mark Wrobel took the reins of the Fire as Claudia Bassard attended to national coaching duties, and helmed his side to a tight three point win over Sydney. Fire captain Suzy Batkovic put her name well and truly into WNBL MVP contention with 30 points and 12 rebounds.

Mikhaela Donnelly (9 points, 8 rebounds), Darcee Garbin (9 points, 6 rebounds) and Micaela Cocks (9 points, 4 assists) helped guide the Fire to a hard-fought win.

New Zealand guard Stella Beck was eased into her debut for the Fire, playing just over six minutes and grabbing two rebounds.

Townsville play Perth Lynx next Saturday evening in Townsville.

University of Canberra Capitals

The Capitals hosted the Boomers at home, full of confidence after defeating them a week earlier, but ended up being handed their first loss on the season. Kia Nurse continued her strong form since landing in Canberra, top scoring with 29 points while captain Kelsey Griffen contributed 19 points and 11 rebounds.

Keely Froling was the only other Capital to reach double figures (10 points), whilst the Boomers had five players scoring 12 points or higher.

The Capitals were able to reduce the deficit late in the game, going 30 from 40 at the free throw line, but ultimately couldn’t haul in the Boomers’ lead.

The Capitals will host the Sydney Uni Flames on Sunday 4th November at 2pm.