THE penultimate round of the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) saw Tahlia Tupaea, Nia Coffey, Lindsay Allen and Brittany McPhee all put up some fine performances. The quartet have dominated the 2018/19 season with consistent performances each round. Melbourne Boomers young gun, Ezi Magbegor has been out for the majority of the season with injury, but has come back into the fold to play some excellent basketball.
#4 Tahlia Tupaea – Sydney Uni Flames
In a tough loss against the UC Capitals, Tupaea was the shining light for the Flames – a role that she has become accustomed to this season. She top-scored for her team and was the second highest points scorer for the game, landing 22. She backed this up with a rebound and two assists from her 30 minutes of court time. However, this success all came crashing down for her in the last quarter of the game, as she went off with a serious knee injury. Tupaea was picked for the Opals earlier on in the week and will be hoping to recover in time to pull on the Australian jersey.
#12 Nia Coffey – Adelaide Lightning
The Adelaide Lightning were able to get over the line against the Spirit with a 91-82 victory to round out their season. Coffey put on a monstrous performance and arguably the best individual performance of the season against the Spirit. She scored an important double-double, with a whopping 37 points and 12 rebounds. Coffey also contributed with four assists. She usually plays about 20 minutes each game, but in this game, her court time was extended to 34 minutes and it worked wonders for Adelaide. With 37 points, Coffey contributed to 40 per cent of her team’s total score. In the Lightning’s second game of the weekend, they suffered a loss to second-placed Melbourne Boomers. Coffey had a devastating influence once again, top-scoring for the game with 26 points. She also pulled down five rebounds and dished off an assist. She played less minutes than her last game, being on court for nearly 29 minutes.
#13 Ezi Magbegor – Melbourne Boomers
Despite a tough loss against Perth, Magbegor gave the Lynx trouble, top-scoring for her team. The talented centre scored 16 points and pulled down four rebounds as well. She did this all from just 22 minutes of game time. The Boomers then travelled to Adelaide where they were able to secure a home-court advantage in the finals with a win over the Lightning. Magbegor’s influence wasn’t as profound as the last game, scoring five points and three rebounds from eight minutes. Despite this, she is a big game performer and will be a key player for the Boomers come finals time.
#15 Lindsay Allen – Melbourne Boomers
In a Friday night blockbuster, Melbourne went down to Perth for the first time this season. Lindsay Allen’s quiet game played a part in this, as she racked up six points, two rebounds and three assists. She played the third highest amount of minutes for her team. Allen and her team improved against Adelaide, getting an important win to finish off the round. She top-scored for the team with 22 points and also pulled down two rebounds. Allen led the way in assists for both teams, dishing out eight for the game. Once again, she played the third highest amount of minutes for her team with 31.
#24 Brittany McPhee – Perth Lynx
The Lynx secured a win over Melbourne at home on Friday night, aiming to finish off their season on a high. McPhee had an unusually quiet game with just two points. However, she pulled down the second highest amount of rebounds for her team with six and topped the game’s assist leaderboard with five.