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WNBL 2014/15 Round 15 Review
Six games this weekend brought about upset performances being one of the common factors. While only two major upsets may have occurred, there certainly were plenty of chances for more to occur, in which you can read about in our Round 15 wrap!
Stunned Caps have playoff hopes halted by Lightning
The University of Canberra Capitals have been embarrassed on their home floor, sinking to an eight point defeat to WNBL bottom feeders Adelaide Lightning.
This defeat has stalled the clubs playoff aspirations after surging home in the past few weeks, only to drop a game that was declared the 'undroppable'.
Key performances from Jenni Screen (16 points 5 rebounds) and Angela Marino (15 points) had the visiting Lightning over the moon as they claimed only their fourth win of the season.
Despite missing Lauren Jackson, the Capitals had no excuses post-game and were led by two of their best in Abby Bishop (29 points) and Steph Talbot (23 points, 11 rebounds).
University of Canberra 71 (Bishop 29, Talbot 23)
Adelaide 79 (Screen 16, Marino 15, Mijovic 15)
Rolling Rangers put West Coast to the sword late
The Rangers second half of the season push for a home semi-final berth is still well in control after their decisive victory over the West Coast Waves on Saturday afternoon.
The 87-80 victory doesn't quite tell the story as the Waves had much of the game on their terms throughout the contest.
Despite the Rangers having a 13 point lead in the third quarter, West Coast kicked into gear and found themselves on a 19-4 run to end the stanza; as Dandenong fans were dumbfounded as they could not believe what they were seeing.
With the Waves having all the momentum heading into the final quarter, Rangers head coach Mark Wright must have had some inspiring words for his girls during the final few breaks. Dandenong came back out with energy and a sense of determination hustling for every loose ball and every missed opportunity by the Waves punished.
A strong final few minutes saw the Rangers run through the red tape, as Penny Taylor (25 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals), Cappie Pondexter (21 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists) and Alice Kunek (18 points) all played their part late.
For the Waves it was a sense of another missed opportunity to knock off one of the heavyweights, as Lindsey Moore topped the team with 17 points, while Cassie Harberts had herself a game with 11 points, 12 rebounds and six dimes.
Dandenong 87 (Taylor 25, Pondexter 21, Kunek 18)
West Coast 80 (Moore 17, Smith 15, Garbin 15)
Bendigo puts big dent into Flames' playoff hopes
The Bendigo Spirit were able to lean on a second half defensive performance along with the upside of Gabe Richards on the attacking end to race to a 95-83 victory over the Sydney Uni Flames.
Richards' game high 21 points (and 13 rebounds) was the difference maker, with no Flame player able to control the Australian Opal for the majority of the match.
After a fairly intense first half, the game clicked into gear in the third quarter and it showed where the Spirit made their mark. An 18-8 third term saw the game pan out in Bendigo's favour, holding a slender six point lead at the final change.
The combination of Richards, Kelsey Griffin (15 points, 10 rebounds) and Sara Blicavs (13 points) then became way too big for the sharp-shooting Flames as they were able to run over the top of the playoff-contending Sydney Uni.
Katie-Rae Ebzery led the Flames with 17 points, while Leilani Mitchell (11 points, 10 assists) picked herself up a double double.
Photo Credit: Geoff Tripp Photography
Sydney Uni 83 (Ebzery 17, Cox 16, Moffatt 12)
Bendigo 95 (Richards 21, Griffin 15, Blicavs 13)
Townsville's burn too hot for struggling Boomers
A 26 to 10 final quarter has shown the true firepower that the Townsville Fire really can have on hand at anytime they're in a dogfight of a game, as the visitors were able to run away from the Melbourne Boomers 88-69 in what was for the majority of the game, a hotly contested match.
Melbourne captain Tess Madgen starred for the home side, capping off a wonderful game with 27 points and three assists, however couldn't quite get the help she needed when the game was right in the balance at the beginning of the fourth quarter.
While Rebecca Allen did her best to chip in with 21 points and eight rebounds of her own, it was cancelled out by Townsville's tall timber in Suzy Batkovic (19 points, 12 rebounds) and Cayla Francis (19 points, 16 rebounds).
Photo Credit: Michelle Couling Photography
Their height seemed way too much for the short-handed Boomers in which Natalie Burton (2 points, 2 rebounds) found herself one out against both of them on many occasions.
With the loss, Melbourne now find themselves battling to stay in the hunt for the playoffs, with competition heating up left, right and centre.
Melbourne 69 (Madgen 27, Allen 21, Cole 8)
Townsville 88 (Batkovic 19, Francis 19, Wilson 19)
Lightning complete rare double weekend
An amazing weekend for the Adelaide Lightning has been capped off with their second successive win as the team were victorious over the West Coast Waves 71-58.
A real start to finish performance was executed by the Adelaide players on Sunday morning as it showed that persistence pays off.
Laura Hodges was excellent all over the floor, finishing with a game high 25 points with collecting eight rebounds and a trio of steals.
Photo Credit: Michelle Couling Photography
The team's 10 steals throughout the game was a pleasant surprise and a testament to their hard working defense.
West Coast could only manage to shoot 13% from behind the arc, while giving the ball away 17 times.
Sarah Graham was a bright spot for the visitors, a team high 21 points not enough to keep the scoreboard ticking.
However, it was all Adelaide and it was well deserved, Jess Foley (11 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals), Alex Bunton (10 points) and Angela Marino (9 points, 8 assists) all got in on the action and will certainly enjoy the rest of the week celebrating one of their rare successful weekends this season.
Adelaide 71 (Hodges 25, Foley 11, Bunton 10)
West Coast 58 (Graham 21, Tomlinson 10, Moore 10)
Defence ensures Spirit nudge Townsville
In the Grand Final rematch, the Bendigo Spirit have handed the Townsville Fire just their fourth defeat of the 2014/15 WNBL season with a defensive minded 66-55 victory.
A game that certainly wasn't pretty, the Spirit survived any onslaught that their opponents were throwing at them, finding their biggest weapon during the key stages; defence.
Allowing just 20 points in the second half, Bendigo were all over the Fire with individuals sticking to their opponents like glue, giving away nothing.
Kelsey Griffin was one of the highlights on the offensive end finishing with 18 points and nine rebounds. Despite poor shooting on the night, Kelly Wilson extended her offer too help the team in other ways handing out a game high eight assists to go with her 11 points.
For the Fire, Cayla Francis was held to just two points on 1-11FG shooting, while teammate Suzy Batkovic attempted to hold the fort with 14 points and nine steals.
Bendigo 66 (Griffin 18, Wilson 11, Richards 10)
Townsville 55 (Batkovic 14, Cumming 12, McCully 10)
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