IT was a round of upsets with the Sydney Uni Flames and Dandenong Rangers getting big wins on the weekend. First, the Flames secured a nail-biting win against the Boomers, before the Rangers took care of the Lynx with a commanding win. But Adelaide Lightning is the story of the round, climbing into the top four on the back of some gritty wins.
Sydney Uni Flames (72) defeated by Adelaide Lightning (82)
In what was a sloppy affair, the Lightning prevailed over the Flames in 10-point victory and can head into their second game with a little more confidence. Adelaide sunk 28 shots from 60 attempts, played predominantly on the inside, earned but missed a good bit of itsfree throws (23/35) and had a leg up on rebounds. The Flames split their shots evenly with 11 on the inside and 10 from outside and earned a few attempts from the foul line (20/26). For the Lightning, Lauren Nicholson stood strong with 26 points, seven rebounds and three assists, alongside Nicole Seekamp who almost picked up a triple-double, earning 14 points, eight rebounds and 10 assists. The pair also earned eight and nine shots from the foul line respectively. For the Flames, Brittany Smart excelled with 14 points, six rebounds, two steals and a block. Tahlia Tupaea shot poorly from the field with one from 14 but managed to earn 12 attempts from the foul line, putting her in the highest scorers for her team.
Townsville Fire (70) defeated by Adelaide Lightning (85)
Adelaide Lightning bested the Townsville Fire away from home to collect their second win on the road this round. After defeating Sydney a couple nights prior, Adelaide again proved too efficient for its opponents. The Lightning landed 34 shots from 77 attempts, played more from range compared to their previous game and again dominated on rebounds. Townsville earned 20 attempts from the foul line, compared to the Lightning’s 11, and also shot well at 39 per cent. Without Suzy Batkovic, Townsville is arguably underpowered, but the Fire had a few players who stepped up to lead the side. Micaela Cocks scored 17 points with two steals, while Ally Mallot scored 14 points, took four rebounds and one steal. Unsurprisingly, Seekamp and Nicholson rose above the rest, with Seekamp earning 17 points, seven rebounds, five assists, two steals and one block and Nicholson similarly, scoring 23 points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals.
Perth Lynx (86) defeat by Bendigo Spirit (68)
Despite its early efforts, Bendigo failed to bring down Perth away from home. It only took two big quarters for the Lynx, scoring 29 points in the second and 28 in the fourth to finish with a comfortable 18-point victory. Stats were quite even across the board, with the biggest discrepancy being the difference in free throws, with the Lynx earning 18 compared to Bendigo’s seven. The Spirit’s sloppy defending let them down greatly and dealt them a consecutive disappointing defeat. Despite this, Nadeen Payne played well for the Spirit, scoring 27 points with four rebounds. Abbey Wehrung also played well with 16 points, two rebounds and five assists. For the Lynx, Asia Taylor dominated the game with 33 points, nine rebounds, two assists and five steals. Brittany McPhee earned a double-double with 20 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists. Compared to Bendigo, the Lynx displayed a lot more contributors with Alison Schwagmeyer and Katie-Rae Ebzery both scoring 10 points.
Melbourne Boomers (62) defeated by Sydney Uni Flames (65)
After earning their first win for the season last round, the Flames earned another against the Boomers away from home. Despite a rocky end, in the last 30 seconds the Flames took back their victory with two successful jump shots from Tahlia Tupaea. For the day, she earned 21 points, two rebounds, two assists and four steals. Smart earned a double-double with 12 points, 10 rebounds and two assists. For the Boomers, Maddie Garrick played well to earn 14 points, while Cayla George snagged a double-double, scoring 12 points with 13 rebounds to go with three assists and two steals. Not a lot separated these teams. Given a few more minutes, it could have gone back and forth a while longer.
UC Capitals (94) defeat Bendigo Spirit (63)
Bendigo Spirit faced their third opponent within three weeks and were on the end of another considerable loss at the hands of UC Capitals. From the field, the Spirit were simply outmatched, landing 21 shots to 36, 37 rebounds to 39 and 24 assists to 16. The Capitals’ ball movement broke down the Spirit’s defence and led them to a comfortable victory. Kelsey Griffin led well from the front, scoring 21 points, seven rebounds and one block. Marianna Tolo had a strong season debut for the Capitals with 23 points, four rebounds and two blocks across 21 minutes. On Bendigo’s end, Nat Hurst played well with 13 points, six rebounds and three assists, alongside Wehrung’s 12 points and Payne’s 11 points and four rebounds. The three players all performed well but Bendigo continues to struggle since its loss to Sydney Uni Flames in Round 8.
Dandenong Rangers (96) defeated Perth Lynx (76)
Dandenong put on a big display at home and defeated Perth in a comfortable third-quarter effort. Both teams boasted a strong shooting percentage, with Dandenong at 51 per cent and Perth at 44 per cent. The biggest discrepancy would be Dandenong’s 28 attempts at the foul line compared to eight. Perth was also let down by an underwhelming third period, scoring eight to 29, despite a big first half. For the Rangers, Kayla Pedersen dominated the board with 21 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and one steal. Similarly, Rebecca Cole also scored 21 points with six assists, alongside Betnijah Laney, who scored 17 points, four rebounds and six assists. For Perth, Kayla Steindl performed well to earn 18 points and four rebounds, along with Taylor who picked up 17 points, four rebounds and two assists.