WNBL 2014/15 Round 5 Recap

Round 5 provided plenty of WNBL action, including a game winning buzzer beater which was featured on ABC TV! Read all about it below in our Round 5 Recap.


Flames burn out determined Boomers

Despite a star performance from Melbourne captain Tess Madgen, it was nowhere near enough to defeat the current league leaders Sydney Uni on Friday night, as they Flames claimed victory 90-78.

Madgen scored 35 points for the visitors on 10-13FG, to go along with seven rebounds, three assists and three blocks. However, it was the rest of her disappointing Boomers outfit that could not get behind her and show some determination to get over the line.

Instead, the Sydney Uni Flames, who have started the new season brilliantly, continued to do so thanks to new cult hero Leilani Mitchell (24 points, 4 assists). She was joined by an array of teammates who could help cause damage on both ends of the floor which included Katie-Rae Ebzery (12 points), Kate Oliver (12 points) and Casey Samuels (12 points).

Despite trailing at every change, the Boomers still felt they were in the contest up until the half way mark of the final quarter, as the margin started to get away from the away side.

Sydney Uni 90 (Mitchell 24, Ebzery 12, Oliver 12)

Melbourne 78 (Madgen 35, Cole 15, Allen 9)

Moore’s heroics leave Caps shattered

A Lindsey Moore buzzer beater on ABC TV has lifted the West Coast Waves over the University of Canberra Capitals on Saturday afternoon, 70-68.

While Moore may have had a subpar game, to her standards, she certainly played the hero as she knocked the final jumper just as time expired.

It was capped off by the team effort from the Waves, with nearly all of their starters scoring in double figures. Cassie Harberts led the way with 16 points and seven rebounds, while Sarah Graham and Moore each finished with 13. Louella Tomlinson recorded a double double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Photo Credit: Helen @ HoopShots (hoopshots.com.au)

Jess Bibby was the Capitals best in terms of scoring, with 15 points off the bench. Abby Bishop was also quiet to her standards, 13 points and 10 rebounds to her name.

With the game neck a neck throughout the entire contest, the third quarter played pivotal. Defence was imminent and the scores reflected that for the rest of the second half. With both teams playing lock down styles of basketball, there were no longer easy points to come by.

With the game going back and fourth down the stretch, both teams had their fair share of the lead. Harberts’ hussle on the offensive glass gave her an important put back to tie the game with only minutes left, before Abi Wehrung went for two quick baskets to stretch the lead again.

With seconds remaining Harberts split her free throws to tie the game, making way for big game Moore to ice the contest.

West Coast 70 (Harberts 16, Moore 13, Graham 13)

University of Canberra 68 (Bibby 15, Bishop 13, Wehrung 13)

Sydney Uni dismantle struggling Lightning

The Sydney Uni Flames made it two from two for the weekend as they easily dispatched the Adelaide Lightning 78-59.

On the road, the Flames were just as brutal jumping out to a 21-7 quarter time lead. Their defensive intensity didn’t stop there, giving up less than 15 points in three of the four quarters, with the Lightning managing nearly half their score during their second quarter outburst.

The Flames didn’t need to rely on any individual in particular, as the team shared the ball around creating chances for a multitude of players. Katie-Rae Ebzery (16 points), Tahlia Tupaea (14 points) and Rohanee Cox (13 points) all finished in double digits while Mikaela Ruef grabbed 10 rebounds to go along with her eight points.

With Laura Hodges back into the team, she certainly helped, but not enough to gain any traction into cutting any sort of deficit. The Lightning captain finished with a team high 15 points to go along with four rebounds and a pair of assists.

Adelaide’s struggle this early on in the season shows danger signs for the only South Australian side in the competition, as they continue to face tough opponents in the coming rounds.

Adelaide 59 (Hodges 15, Bunton 11, Marino 10)

Sydney Uni 78 (Ebzery 16, Tupaea 14, Cox 13)

Boomers suffer again, this time to red-hot Fire

The stinging defensive pressure of Townsville Fire inside the paint restricted the Melbourne Boomers to any sort of respectable score as the Fire made yet another statement on the competition, putting away the hapless Boomers 75-52.

Townsville gave up just eight points in the second term, in addition to just the nine points conceded in the final period as the Boomers never reached 20 points for a quarter in what was a disappointing night.

Melbourne managed to shoot just 37% from the field, in addition only managed to see the free throw line three times, in which they connected on one attempt. It was an awful showing by the Boomers up in far north Queensland, as they were easily shown up by their better opponents.

Townsville’s tandem of Cayla Francis and Suzy Batkovic provided just another example of how they are near impossible to stop, with the pair combining for 33 points and 19 rebounds.

For the Boomers, it was again up to Tess Madgen to lead the offense, however only managed 15 points. Bec Cole was serviceable with 12 points and five assists, however the rest of the team were shut out by the Fire’s defensive pressure, Amelia Todhunter the next best with eight points.

While losing to the Fire should be no demoralising loss, the Boomers are now in a hole, sitting second bottom of the WNBL ladder coming off a 0-2 week. Coach Guy Molloy will now look elsewhere to find a spark, most likely one that can help put points on the board and help out Tess Madgen.

Townsville 75 (Francis 17, Batkovic 16, Newley 10)

Melbourne 52 (Madgen 15, Cole 12, Todhunter 8)

Bendigo too good for Taylor, Rangers

In what was one of the higher scoring games of the round, the Bendigo Spirit were too good for the offensive minded Rangers as the recorded an 89-75 victory in Dandenong.

As Bendigo started the better of the two teams, their class was on display for the duration of the game, providing plenty of evidence as to why they’re currently back to back champions.

The Spirit had built a 19 point lead by half time, thanks to their bigs dominating the paint on the offensive end, plus controlling the glass on defence.

Sara Blicavs finished the game with 24 points, while Gabe Richards (15 points, 8 rebounds) and Kelsey Griffin (9 points, 12 rebounds) certainly lent a helping hand.

For Dandenong, Penny Taylor struggled from the field (4-11FG) yet still managed to rack up 17 points. Lauren Scherf did her best to battle with the tall timber and finished with a serviceable 12 points, four rebounds and three dimes, while Cappie Pondexter was kept quiet with nine points, despite dishing out six assists.

With Alice Kunek promoted to the starting line-up in place of Annalise Pickrel, she couldn’t provide the same intensity on the offensive end, finishing with just 2-6FG for four points. For Pickrel, it could have been a blessing in disguise, showing Coach Mark Wright that she deserves her spot in the team. Pickrel played only 14 minutes, however showed flashes of brilliance in her 14 points, four rebounds and two steals performance.

The Rangers will now look to recoup as they currently sit on the bottom of the WNBL ladder, a feat that won’t sit well with all of their players.

Dandenong 75 (Taylor 17, Pickrel 14, Scherf 12)

Bendigo 89 (Blicavs 24, Richards 15, Snell 12)