WNBA: Top 5 Aussie performances of the season
|Alanna Jarry||Sep 24, 2017|
We take a look back at the Top 5 performances from our Aussies in the WNBA this season.
From record breaking three-point shooting to brave playoff performances, it was another successful year for Australians in the WNBA.
#5 | Steph Talbot has her breakout game for Phoenix
The Phoenix rookie showed her teammates, and the rest of the competition what she has to offer during the early stages of the season. After being elevated to the starting 5, Talbot had a stellar game up against the New York Liberty early in the season.
Scoring 12 points and 5 rebounds, Talbot showed her dynamic ability to get to the rim and burst past opponents. Even though her Mercury were unsuccessful by 2 points during this match, rookie Talbot was the shining star for her side and she was going from strength to strength.
#4 | Cayla George lifts Phoenix to a comeback victory
After giving up an early lead to Chicago, it was left up to Cayla George to inspire the Phoenix Mercury to victory. The forward equalled her WNBA career high for points with 14 and set a new WNBA career high for rebounds with 14 boards, completing a vital double double to get her team over the line by 6 points. It was an inspiring performance from George who stepped up for her team in the absence of star centre Brittney Griner.
#3 | Mitchell inspires Mercury to an almost-comeback victory
Leilani Mitchell proved she was a talent like no other when she stepped onto the court to take on the Connecticut Sun. From being 9 points down in the first quarter, Mitchell banked 17 points, 8 assists and 3 rebounds to ignite the Mercury to almost steal the win. The opponents however were too capable, and hung on by a thread to take home a 1 point victory. Mitchell’s performance was off the radar, as the small point guard dished and drove her way through that no one else could imagine possible.
#2 | Sami Whitcomb breaks a WNBA record in her breakout season
Naturalised Australian Sami Whitcomb was just excited to be invited to Seattle’s training camp ahead of the WNBA season, little did she know she would not only make the cut but live to break a WNBA record for the Storm.
The sharpshooter drained six three-pointers in the second half of Seattle’s win over New York, which equalled the all-time mark. Sinking three triples in a row in the final 15 minutes, Whitcomb ignited her side to the win.
She finished with 22 points in just 15 minutes on the court in what was one of the most memorable performances of the season.
#1 | Mitchell shines in playoffs
Phoenix’s first playoff match was a do or die elimination against Seattle, which meant that players had to be brave – Leilani Mitchell was brave. The point guard showed she can handle the pressure and step up in the toughest of times for her team. Inspiring her side to a 10 point win, Mitchell dominated with 17 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists in a brilliant performance. She also hit the clutch three pointer that put the game out of question for Seattle.
Her playoff performance continued, as she helped her side close out another elimination game against Connecticut where she scored 11 points and 4 assists.
Whilst the Mercury’s season was cut short by their qualifier against LA Sparks, it didn’t stop Mitchell from proving how valuable she is to this Mercury team and cementing herself as one of the most damaging point guards in the league.
Game 1: LA Sparks 79 – Phoenix Mercury 66 Mitchell: 19 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists.
Game 2: LA Sparks 86 – Phoenix Mercury 72 Mitchell: 15 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists.
Game 3: LA Sparks 89 – Phoenix Mercury 87 Mitchell: 12 points, 5 assists, 2 steals, 1 blocked shot.