AFTER a round of upsets last week with the road teams going unbeaten, a number of home teams were able to send the crowd home happy. It was a round full of close and entertaining games with Canberra emerging as the standouts so far.
Adelaide Lightning (65) defeated by Townsville Fire (75)
The Fire continued the trend of away teams registering victories as they notched their first win of the season. Lauren Nicholson (14 points), Nicole Seekamp (17 points) and Colleen Planeta (14 points) all put together strong games to help the Lightning stay within striking distance throughout the contest. The Fire played fantastic defence, holding Adelaide to just 30 per cent shooting from the field. Townsville also used terrific balance on offence, with four players scoring in double figures. Veteran, Suzy Batkovic who scored 19 points, was on pace with her season average, led the way for the Fire. The win leaves both teams sitting at 1-1 through the first two games of the season, with both having an opportunity to bounce back later in the weekend.
Dandenong Rangers (66) defeated Sydney Uni Flames (62)
Coming off a strong showing in the opening round, the Rangers played their home opener against the Sydney Uni Flames, who were hoping to bounce back from their opening round loss. The Flames led for the majority of the game before they were overran in the final term by the Rangers, as they stormed home to improve to 2-0 on the season. Rebecca Cole impressed once again for the Rangers with a game-high 21 points as well as teammate, Betnijah Laney registering a near triple-double with 17 points, 12 rebounds and six assists. For the Flames, Alex Bunton put together her second consecutive strong game with 16 points and 15 rebounds to pace the Flames.
Melbourne Boomers (65) defeated by UC Capitals (72)
The Capitals jumped out of the gates and built a huge lead, heading into halftime leading 42-25. The Boomers slowly battled their way back into the game to make the final scoreline respectable. However, the Capitals were able to cruise to a comfortable seven-point win as they continued their unbeaten season, while ensuring the Boomers did not register their first win. Three-point shooting was a concern for both teams, particularly the Boomers, who only sunk three shots from 27 attempts. Melbourne’s Ezi Magbegor enjoyed an entertaining duel with Kelsey Griffin, where Griffin ultimately came out on top, registering 23 points and 14 rebounds to Magbegor’s 19 points and five rebounds.
Bendigo Spirit (87) defeated Dandenong Rangers (65)
A night after defeating the Flames, the Rangers looked to go back to back and move to 3-0 as they took on the Bendigo Spirit, who were also unbeaten from their one and only game. Fatigue appeared to be a factor for the Rangers as they failed to bring the same energy as they had the night before. The rested Spirit were able to wrestle control of the game through the use of a 26-12 third quarter and a 26-15 fourth quarter to run away comfortable winners. Rebecca Tobin’s 21 points and 11 rebounds paced the Spirit, alongside her teammates, who put on equally as strong offensive performances. The poor shooting performance of Rebecca Cole who went three from 15 ultimately proved too much for the Rangers, as they dropped to 2-1 from their first three games.
Sydney Uni Flames (75) defeated by Melbourne Boomers (87)
Both teams entered the game 0-2 and in desperate need of a victory to kick start their campaign. The Flames jumped out to a big lead early, getting out to a 13-point margin at the end of the first quarter. The Boomers showed great resiliency as their defence shut down the Flames in the second, holding them to just 10 points in quarter while scoring 26 of their own. The contest heated up in the third as the Flames made a push heading into the fourth quarter down by just one, before the Boomers pulled away and registered their first win. Lindsay Allen led the Boomers in scoring with 23 points, with Jenna O’Hea adding 19. The win should play the Boomers into form as they continue to work in their new players.
UC Capitals (79) defeated Adelaide Lightning (75)
The Capitals came into the game unbeaten and were looking to become the first team to advance to 3-0. Adelaide led at the end of each quarter, but it was the Capitals who were able to escape with the win and continue their impressive start. Kelsey Griffin has been a star in the early stages of the season and this game was no different with 21 points and eight rebounds. She has been a catalyst for the Capitals’ unbeaten start and will undoubtedly continue to be a big factor moving forward. Nia Coffey put together a strong game off the bench, scoring 16 points in just 18 minutes as she pushes her case for more minutes moving forward with the Lightning.
Perth Lynx (98) defeated Townsville Fire (88)
Coming off a loss in Round 1, the Lynx bounced back in a huge way, putting on quite the offensive show. It was a high-scoring affair throughout, but Perth’s second quarter proved to be the difference as the Lynx took over the game with a 30-point quarter. Brittany McPhee was on fire, scoring 32 points on 11 from 19 from the field, including four three-pointers. Her teammate, Asia Taylor put together her second consecutive big game with 21 points and seven rebounds. Suzy Batkovic’s incredible consistency shone through again as she produced 23 points and seven rebounds, doing everything she could to keep the Fire in the game.