A host of changes on the ladder has dominated Round 10 of the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) season. The Melbourne Boomers are on top of the ladder after their win over Adelaide Lightning, and thanks to Perth’s three-game losing streak. Meanwhile, the Dandenong Rangers have climbed into the top four on the back of three straight wins.
Sydney Uni Flames (73) defeated by Dandenong Rangers (106)
Despite a promising start, the Rangers again proved too much for the Flames. It seems the Rangers continue to boast a strong run, demonstrating their talents in a massive fourth quarter blitz, scoring 35 points to 19. They shot at 59 per cent compared to 36, and excelled at range (13), rebounds (44) and assists (28). Rebecca Cole cleaned up from the field, shooting at 88 per cent overall. She earned 31 points, four rebounds, three assists and five steals. Betnijah Laney held strong under the ring to take nine rebounds, as well as earn seven assists and score 16 points. The Flames had a few strong players in Tahlia Tupaea and Brittany Smart, who scored 16 points and 10 points respectively. More impressively, Lara McSpadden played well to earn herself a double-double. Despite playing under 20 minutes, she scored 12 points and took 10 rebounds.
Adelaide Lightning (93) defeated UC Capitals (73)
Adelaide picked up another much-needed win to keep hopes high for a redeemable season. The Lightning opened their first half undoubtedly strong, scoring 27 points in both periods. The Capitals kept close in the opener but faded hard in the second, scoring only 15 points. For the remainder of the game, they matched well but it seemed the damage had already been done. For the Lightning, Kayla Alexander shone bright with a well-earned double-double. She picked up 22 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, one steal and two blocks. Nia Coffey trailed close behind with 21 points, seven rebound and seven assists. The pair also shot at 50 and 60 per cent respectively. Kelsey Griffin and Marianna Tolo also deserve mentions for their work for the UC Capitals. Griffin scored 18 points with six rebounds, while Tolo had 16 points, eight rebounds, three assists, three steals and five blocks.
Townsville Fire (97) defeated Perth Lynx (72)
Townsville shut the door early for Perth with 52 points compared to 39 in the first half. With 30 points in the first period, the game seemed pretty much won for the Fire but that did not prevent the Lynx from attempting to mount a comeback. The second half was a different game with Perth closely trailing and winning the final quarter. Townsville Fire guard, Tess Madgen was a big contributor to this lead, scoring 20 points with seven rebounds and three assists. Ally Mallot also impacted with 19 points, seven rebounds, two steals and one block. For both teams scoring was spread broadly. Perth’s Brittany McPhee scored 16 points with three rebounds, alongside Asia Taylor, who scored 13 points, seven rebounds and two assists.
Melbourne Boomers (83) defeated Adelaide Lightning (78)
In a hard-fought game, the Boomers move to top spot on the ladder following a five-point victory over the Lightning. After a quiet first period, Melbourne seemed unable to take a lead, despite matching scoring in the periods that followed. In the end, it was a big final quarter effort which saw them take the lead, scoring 30 points to 19 and turning a six-point deficit into a five-point victory. Cayla George was pivotal in the Boomers’ victory, earning a double-double with 18 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, one steal and two blocks. Lindsay Allen also lifted, earning 15 points, five rebounds and five assists. The Lightning were not without their big players though, with Alexander also earning herself a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Coffey trailed close behind with 18 of her own with five rebounds and two assists.
Dandenong Rangers (87) defeated Bendigo Spirit (63)
The Rangers keep on charging with another big win, this time against Bendigo Spirit by 24 points. They opened strong in their first half, scoring 30 and 24 points. They settled in the second half, comfortably matching Bendigo’s scoring as the game went on. Unfortunately for the Spirit, they seemed down and out after the guns fired in the openers, as the Rangers showed no trouble holding the front as the game closed out. Laney had a big day for Dandenong with 19 points, nine rebounds and two steals, but Cole once again led the way with a double-double, scoring 20 points with six rebounds and 11 assists. For Bendigo, Natalie Hurst and Abbey Wehrung played well to earn 15 and 11 points respectively.
UC Capitals (92) defeated Perth Lynx (60)
Continuing the theme of big margins, the UC Capitals earned a big win at home against the Perth Lynx. They opened the game exceptionally with 30 points in the opening quarter, and followed up with 25 in the next. They held an 18-point lead going into the third, and despite losing the third period by four points, managed to retaliate in the fourth with 27 to 14. Griffin starred for the Capitals with 27 points and 15 rebounds, while Leilani Mitchell followed close with 22 points, five rebounds and seven assists. For the Lynx, Taylor and Alison Schwagmeyer led the way. The pair both picked up 14 points and six rebounds, with Schwagmeyer shooting better from the field and Taylor earning more attempts from the foul line.