WNBL Round 8 Preview

Credit Geoff Tripp for photography

Adelaide vs Bendigo

Time: 5:15PM

Adelaide Arena

Friday 22nd November

Who's hot?

Adelaide: Jess Foley - 16 points, 6 rebounds, 3 steals - last week vs Townsville

Bendigo: Gabrielle Richards - 16 points, 12 rebounds - last week vs Logan

New Adelaide coach Richard Dickel will find himself with no bigger task this week than trying to dismantle the dynamic Bendigo Spirit at home. Adelaide left their previous dismal performance against Melbourne in the dark last week, with a terrific 1-point win over the Townsville Fire. Finally somebody other than Laura Hodges stepped up for the Lightning, with Jess Foley, Narelle Payne and Steph Talbot all scoring in double-digits. That same offensive efficiency will need to be there against Bendigo who currently find themselves equal first and only dropping 1 game in the season. Kristi Harrower had another double-digit assist game against Logan last week, while Kelsey Griffin, Gabrielle Richards and Sara Blicavs are all finding the rim with ease. Bendigo's defense has been top-notch with only one team scoring over 70 points against them which was in Round 1 (Townsville). Adelaide will need to step it up on the defensive end for a shot at winning this, but Bendigo as the competition's premier team seems to be too good for the challengers. Bendigo by 9

Townsville vs Canberra

Time: 7PM

Townsville RSL Stadium

Friday 22nd November

Who's hot?

Townsville: Olivia Thompson - 19 points, 8 rebounds, 3 steals - last week vs West Coast

Canberra: Jess Bibby - 22 points, 2 assists - last week vs Melbourne

Canberra travel to Townsville this week with both teams losing a game in the past week after nail-bitingly close encounters. Impact players off the bench, Jess Bibby and Olivia Thompson will be crucial to whoever proves victorious in this game. With each team looking for an x-factor, both the veteran and the future star stepped up in last week's games, providing valuable scoring from the second unit. Canberra struggled with shooting efficiency last week, going 17/53 from the field, and committed 25 turnovers in a scrappy game with Melbourne to win it. Canberra simply can't have another game with such a shooting percentage and turnover count. Townsville's deep bench will guide them to a win here. While Thompson may have feasted on a sub-par West Coast side, her skills cannot be disregarded and looks on track for another big game. Fire by 5

Logan vs Canberra

Time: 2PM

Logan Metro

Saturday 23rd November

GAME IS ABC TELEVISED

Who's hot?

Logan: Kristen Veal - 16 points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds - last week vs Bendigo

Canberra: Alex Bunton - 11 points, 11 rebounds - last week vs Melbourne

With the Sunshine Swing in full effect, Canberra will play their second game less than 24 hours after travelling to Townsville the night before. Logan should look to push the Capitals early, the quick pace of Kristen Veal, Hannah Zavecz and Tegan Cunningham will make Canberra think twice about whatever they do. Coming off a shocking loss the week before where they lost in front of their home crowd in Logan against Bendigo by 30, the Thunder will make it up to the fans who brought them back from the brink this off-season. Tegan Cunningham, Laurie Koehn and Hannah Zavecz all had rough performances which fans did not expect from the trio considering the talent they possess. In what was really a week full a disappointing performances for each side, Natalie Hurst was unable to live up to her 30 point, 10 assist game the game before against Dandenong, finishing with only 2 points and 7 assists against Melbourne. Likewise, Carley Mijovic also struggled and only registered 12 minutes in the game. The 5 mentioned will be key to whoever finishes on top. This even match up should really come down to the wire and will be highly entertaining for the national audience. In this 50-50 match up, Canberra might just manage to sneak a win this round. Capitals by 4

Sydney vs Melbourne

Time: 7PM

Brydens Stadium

Saturday 23rd November

Who's hot?

Sydney: Rohanee Cox - 19 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists - last week vs Dandenong

Melbourne: Rebecca Allen - 10 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists - last week vs Canberra

Well, didn't Sydney show up big last week? Against Dandenong, they checked all the right boxes in order to beat them. They held Jenna O'Hea to only 9 points, kept Dandenong to 33% shooting, while shooting 43% themselves and they kept the rest of the Ranger entourage to no more than 13 points each respectively. The first win for the Flames at their new Brydens stadium could not have come in better fashion, finishing with star Rohanee Cox being named as Player of the Week. Melbourne somehow came out on top in another scrappy encounter where their dominant big duo in Chelsea Poppins and Amber Hegge found themselves in foul trouble, something they need to stay out of this week for any chance at their 9th win on the season. Sydney is riding high in confidence after beating Dandenong at home. Furthermore, seeing that Melbourne found themselves struggling last week, Karen Dalton's camp should be able to ride that confidence for at least one more week. Flames by 2

West Coast vs Bendigo

Time: 7:30PM

WA Basketball Center

Saturday 23rd November

Who's hot?

West Coast: Antonia Edmondson - 12 points, 4 rebounds - last week vs Townsville

Bendigo: Kristi Harrower - 10 points, 10 assists, 5 rebounds - last week vs Logan

This game should really surprise nobody. Bendigo are in peak form so far, comfortably beating on whichever team that decides to foolishly stand in their way. West Coast is struggling with injuries to key players such as Deanna Smith and Shani Amos hampering any attempts to push themselves up the ladder. Elyse Penaluna, Kelsey Griffin and Gabrielle Richards should be able to feast on the young Waves team, while Darcee Garbin, Kate Fielding and Nat Burton will have their hands full trying to deal with these 3. Moreover, with elite point guard Kristi Harrower feeding them the ball, their troubles seem to pile up. Melissa Marsh and Antonia Edmonson have done a great job of trying to lead this young team into the season, but these two really needed to step up with big shooting performances just to stay relevant this week. Bendigo by 25