WNBL 2014/15 Round 17 Review
The final round of the WNBL regular season has come and gone and did we get some incredible games!
Three teams vying for the final playoff position came down to the wire with, in the end, the most unlikeliest of teams scraping through.
An overtime classic showing a glimpse of finals fever and another strong Adelaide showing as they have possibly played their last game....forever.
All that and more in The Pick and Roll's Round 17 review.
Talbot, Capitals keep finals hopes alive with victory over Bendigo
A super performance from Steph Talbot has kept the UC Capitals season alive and kicking with a 85-75 victory over the Bendigo Spirit.
The defending champs had no answer for Talbot's array of offensive moves, who finished with 28 points and 10 rebounds on 8-10FG shooting.
She was joined by hot MVP favourite Abby Bishop and Jess Bibby (11 points) who both reached double figures on the scoreboard. Bishop (18 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists) once again played a hand before fouling out late in the game.
For the Spirit, their forwards seemed to play lone hands on a team that has struggled for real consistency as of late, something that may play a factor in the post-season. Gabe Richards (21 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists) and Kelsey Griffin (16 points, 6 rebounds) combined for 37 points and 12 rebounds in the loss.
The win has the Capitals inside the top four, however will now await other results over the weekend to see their playoff fate.
UC Capitals 85 (Talbot 28, Bishop 18, Bibby 11)
Bendigo 75 (Richards 21, Griffin 16, Lavey 12)
Lightning bow out with super showing against Dandenong
The Adelaide Lightning have sent stars Jess Foley and Jenni Screen, as well as possibly the entire organisation off in style with an 89-71 victory over the Dandenong Rangers on Friday night.
It looked as though the Rangers were going to cruise through the contest, holding a slender but steady advantage heading into the main break. However, the Lightning held up their defensive end allowing just seven points in the third quarter which swung the momentum into the home sides favour.
Off the back of their stinging defence, Adelaide were then able to execute on offence down the stretch, capping off their disappointing season in style.
Laura Hodges was brilliant with 30 points and eight rebounds, while it seemed everyone was chipping in throughout the night. Angela Marino (13 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists), Jess Foley (12 points, 5 rebounds) and Carley Mijovic (9 points, 2 steals) just to name a few.
Jenni Screen bowed out in style with a near triple double as she collected seven points, 10 rebounds and nine assists in her final action, while her 1-8FG shooting would be something to be forgotten.
Dandenong didn't seem to have any energy in the second half, despite Cappie Pondexter topping the team with 17 points and nine rebounds. Alice Kunek helped out with 16 points, while Penny Taylor (5 points, 2-8FG) had possibly her first off-night since returning to the WNBL.
Adelaide 89 (Hodges 30, Marino 13, Foley 12)
Dandenong 71 (Pondexter 17, Kunek 16, Clydesdale 13)
Flames steal final playoff spot with win over league leaders
The Sydney Uni Flames are going to the playoffs! The two point victory over the Townsville Fire has assured them of sealing the fourth and final playoff spot, where they'll meet Dandenong in the Elimination Final.
Photo Credit: Geoff Tripp Photography
After a wonderful performance to keep the Fire at bay, the 82-80 win thoroughly deserved the Flames to see post-season action.
Leilani Mitchell was brilliant, as her up and down form as of late was on the high side on the night, with 19 points, seven rebounds and 12 assists. Katie-Rae Ebzery continued her hot shooting run with another 16 points to go with a pair of steals.
With the Fire down 11 at the end of the third quarter, Townsville rallied in the final period off the back of their stars. Suzy Batkovic scored 23 points to go with 12 rebounds and a pair of steals and blocks, while Cayla Francis had 16 points, nine rebounds and three swats.
Keeping the Flames to just 11 points in the fourth quarter was not enough however, as Sydney Uni scraped over the line to steal the show and steal fourth placing in this year's WNBL season.
Sydney Uni 82 (Mitchell 19, Ebzery 16, Cox 14)
Townsville 80 (Batkovic 23, Francis 16, Cumming 13)
Melbourne's pride showcased against Waves
With the Flames victorious the night prior, the Melbourne Boomers no longer had finals aspirations on the line when they met with the West Coast Waves. However, with pride on the line to finish on a positive note, the Boomers strung out a grinding 64-61 victory in what was a heavily bogged down game.
The Boomers managed to have the jump on their opponents, opening up a 22-14 lead after just ten minutes. However, the scoring seemed to slow to a slug fest from there as the Waves managed to pull back the lead bit by bit.
An awful fourth quarter probably summed up the night, as the Boomers were able to pull through in a 13-11 fourth term to secure their 11th win of the season.
Tess Madgen dropped 23 points for the visitors, to go along with five rebounds and five assists. Melbourne only had one other player in double figures (Olivia Thomspson 10).
West Coast now finish the season on the bottom of the ladder once again, despite the combination of Lindsey Moore and Louella Tomlinson playing their hearts out. Moore finished with 16 points and nine rebounds, while Tomlinson recorded 15 points, three blocks and a pair of steals.
West Coast 61 (Moore 16, Tomlinson 15, Smith 14)
Melbourne 64 (Madgen 23, Thompson 10, Allen 8)
Fire finish on high, top of the table in OT victory
The Townsville Fire have knocked off potential finals opponent Dandenong in an epic finale to the regular season, an 80-77 overtime victory.
Photo Credit: Michelle Couling Photography
Steph Cumming knocked down clutch free throws towards the end of regulation to tie the game up at 71, before her spark burst the game open in the extra period with two huge shots which couldn't be matched.
While Cumming (10 points, five rebounds) was the person of the moment, the team was reliant on an abundance of stars with all five of their starters scoring in double figures.
Cayla Francis led the army with 20 points and nine rebounds, while star teammate Suzy Batkovic wasn't far behind with 19 points and 12 rebounds.
Penny Taylor managed 20 points, bouncing back from her poor performance earlier in the weekend, while Cappie Pondexter finished with 18 points and nine rebounds.
Both teams should be ready to go playoff time after this epic warm-up, which certainly had playoff intensity during key stages.
Dandenong 77 (Taylor 20, Pondexter 18, Kunek 13)
Townsville 80 (Francis 20, Batkovic 19, Newley 15)
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