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WNBL 2014/15 Round 3 Recap
Round 3 of the WNBL produced a pair of Dandenong blowouts, an epic come from behind OT victory, plus the delivery of now having every WNBL team off donuts in the win column. Here's our round 3 recap:
Richards delivers as Spirit shoot down Rangers
It was a Thursday night delight from Gabe Richards as the Spirit dispatched the Dandenong Rangers 97-75 in Bendigo.
Richards was a perfect 10 for 10 from the field, notching a game high 20 points to go along with six rebounds. She was joined by teammates Belinda Snell (17 points, 7 assists), Sara Blicavs (13 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists) and Kelsey Griffin (13 points, 10 rebounds) as the high scorers, leading their team to victory in every quarter.
The dominant display was shown with the spread of minutes from the home side, with no one playing more than 30 minutes.
For the visitors, Cappie Pondexter registered 17 points on a terrific 8-9 shooting, while fellow import Annalise Pickrel was perfect from the field on just three shots for nine points. Dandenong, who have been playing shorthanded so early on in the season, had four players with 30+ minutes and can’t wait for the introduction of Penny Taylor to the squad; her debut to come next week against the Townsville Fire.
Bendigo 97 (Richards 20, Snell 17, Blicavs 13)
Dandenong 75 (Pondexter 17, Cunningham 14, Kunek 14)
Fire put on afterburners to stay perfect in rout of Lightning
Townsville recovered from a slow start and a second-quarter deficit to rout Adelaide 86-60 on the back of a dominant second half.
The Fire stayed perfect and won their third straight home game with a 50-24 second half to which the visitors had no answer.
Cayla Francis (22 points, 11 rebounds, 8-14 FG) continued her red-hot start to the campaign with another brilliant display, while frontline partner Suzie Batkovic (21 points, 17 rebounds, 3 blocks) was also dominant on the interior.
The Lightning started the better and built a seven point lead in the second term before a late rally saw Townsville draw level at the break.
The home side then put on the jets in the third term, leaving Adelaide behind as their two star bigs took over, building a nine point lead before running away with the game in the final term.
A 53-33 rebounding advantage to the Fire was telling, while only Carly Mijovic managed double digits for the Lightning with 16 points as the visitors offense fell apart.
Townsville 86 (Francis 22, Batkovic 21, Cumming 18)
Adelaide 60 (Mijovic 16, Hodges, 7, Marino 7)
Canberra ride Bishop, Bibby to hand Rangers a double trouble weekend
For the second time in the weekend, the Dandenong Rangers allowed their opponents to shoot the ball above 50% from the field, which allowed the University of Canberra Capitals to secure a 29 point victory, 101-72.
The trio of Abby Bishop, Jess Bibby and Steph Talbot proved deadly. Bishop was everywhere in the early going, finishing with 28 points and 12 rebounds; Bibby finished the job off in the second half including five three pointers, while Talbot was the ever consistent with 17 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.
Dandenong struggled to keep up, losing by double digits in two of the four quarters, plus nine in the final term. Coach Mark Wright will have to raise this concern in the coming weeks if they are any chance to turn their form around.
Positives for the Rangers have been the strong play of Tegan Cunningham, who continued her early season form with seven points and eight rebounds plus the sixth woman of the year candidate Aimie Clydsedale who finished with another 11 point game.
University of Canberra 101 (Bishop 28, Bibby 20, Talbot 17)
Dandenong 72 (Pondexter 14, MacLeod 13, Clydesdale 11)
Lightning hunt down Flames for epic OT win
Adelaide has stunned the previously undefeated Sydney Uni Flames with a come-from-behind overtime victory.
The Lightning found themselves six points down late in regulation before Jess Foley (13 points, 5 rebounds) helped the visitors to force the extra period with some clutch baskets.
Earlier it was the Flames who were in control for much of the contest, holding leads at all the major breaks before falling apart late in regulation and overtime.
Laura Hodges (25 points, 7 rebounds, 2 blocks) and Alex Bunton (23 points, 13 rebounds 3 blocks) kept the Lightning in the contest early with a pair of dominant performances, with the pair scoring all of Adelaide’s first quarter points, before Foley and Angela Marino (12 points) stepped it up to get their side home in the fourth term and extra period.
Leilani Mitchell (30 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals, 11-16 FG) was the star of the show for the Flames, doing it all at both ends, but her performance wasn’t enough to get her side over the line in a disappointing result for Sydney Uni.
Sydney Uni 91 (Mitchell 30, Ebzery 17, Johnson 12)
Adelaide 94 (Hodges 25, Bunton 23, Foley 13)
Boomers score first win of season over crashing Waves
The Melbourne Boomers headed west to take on the West Coast Waves and secured their first win of the season 68-53.
Despite the horrid display of shooting which upset the high scoring weekend, Melbourne’s stinging defence played a major part in the Waves starters hitting just eight field goals for the contest.
For the visitors, Tess Madgen was excellent with 22 points, five rebounds and seven assists as she has started the season in early MVP form. Rebecca Allen recorded a double double with 14 points and 10 rebounds which included three steals.
Waves import Lindsey Moore had a night she rather forget; 1-8 from the field for just two points. The team were a woeful 1-17 from international waters; thankfully they made 32% of their score from the charity stripe.
Deanna Smith was the highlight, in her 250th WNBL game she led the team with 13 points and eight rebounds off the bench. Congratulations to Deanna on her achievement.
West Coast 53 (Smith 13, Garbin 13, Tomlinson 11)
Melbourne 68 (Madgen 22, Allen 14, Cole 11)