Bendigo snapped Melbourne’s win streak and Townsville won two more vital clashes to headline round 9 WNBL action.
Boomers slide past Lightning for six straight
Melbourne extended their unbeaten run to six with another hard-fought 73-59 win at Adelaide Lightning.
The visitors jumped their opponents early to set up a double digits lead before quarter time and held Adelaide at bay the rest of the way to move into third spot on the WNBL ladder.
Shooting at 43% behind the three-point line and 79% at the line (compared to 25% and 50% for their opponents), the Boomers simply proved too strong for the struggling home side as Rebecca Cole (23 points, 5 rebounds) continued her purple patch of form, particularly early in the piece.
The visitors also got plenty of mileage out of Tess Madgen (14 points, 11 rebounds) and Laurie Koehn (11 points, 3-3 3PT), while Adelaide was led by Opals star and Lightning captain Laura Hodges, who finished with 19 points, 7 boards and 5 assists on 8-of-13 shooting.
Adelaide 59 (Hodges 19, Foley 11, Langford 7)
Melbourne 73 (Cole 23, Madgen 14, Koehn 11)
Rangers overpower Waves to inch towards top four
Dandenong beat West Coast for the second time in as many weeks to jump the Waves on the ladder and move to within two wins of fourth spot.
The Rangers built the 86-77 win on the back of a 28-17 third term, breaking a halftime deadlock after a tight first half.
Cappie Pondexter was well-held by the Waves, restricted to just eight shots and nine points, however they were unable to stop Penny Taylor (23 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists) in what will be the strength of the Rangers all season.
Alice Kunek enjoyed her best outing of the campaign as she chimed in with 17 points, while Kathleen MacLeod added 18 and 6 assists on 7-of-9 shooting as she continues to build her own form after taking last season off to have a child.
Deanna Smith continued her red-hot form with 24 points on 10-of-14 shooting off the bench for the Waves, and Sarah Graham added 16 points, however import Lindsey Moore was held to just six points on four field goal attempts.
West Coast 77 (Smith 24, Graham 16, Harberts 10)
Dandenong 86 (Taylor 23, MacLeod 18, Kunek 17)
Fire takes tough win in Sydney
A strong 28-18 second term has seen Townsville leave Sydney with a 93-86 win over the Flames, cementing top spot for another week and leaving the home side clinging to fourth place.
Suzy Batkovic was unstoppable for the visitors, tallying 26 points and 10 rebounds whilst going a perfect 8-of-8 at the charity stripe, while Cayla Francis also tormented the Flames in the paint, finishing with 17 points, 16 rebounds and 6 assists in a brilliant all-round display.
The Fire had five players in double figures and shot the ball at 50% for the match, including an incredible 54% from deep.
Sydney Uni shot the ball well themselves, at 44% and 47% from the perimeter, but couldn’t match it with the league’s best side when they lifted it a notch.
Katie-Rae Ebzery (18 points, 5 rebounds) led her side once again while Mikaela Ruef and Casey Samuels finished with 16 points apiece.
Sydney Uni 86 (Ebzery 18, Ruef 16, Samuels 16)
Townsville 93 (Batkovic 26, Francis 17, Cocks 15)
Spirit halt Boomers streak at six
Bendigo has knocked off Melbourne 78-66, ending the Boomers’ win streak at six games and consolidating a top two spot in the process.
The Spirit opened up a 16-point lead in the third term but had to survive a late rally from the home side, who closed to within four points before Bendigo steadied to claim the win.
Belinda Snell starred, netting 22 points and collecting 11 rebounds to lead her side to the impressive victory, while Kelsey Griffin was also superb as she finished with 20 points and 13 rebounds.
The defending premiers managed to hold Laurie Koehn scoreless, with the Boomers import coming into the match on the back of an impressive run of form since joining the side a month ago, coinciding with their run of wins.
Tess Madgen and Olivia Thompson each finished with 16 points, however their side shot at just 16% from beyond the arc and failed to fire on the offensive end for much of the night.
Melbourne 66 (Madgen 16, Thompson 16, Allen 13)
Bendigo 78 (Snell 22, Griffin 20, Wilson 12)
Fire complete road double with win over Bishop, Caps
The addition of Lauren Jackson can’t come quick enough for UC Canberra after the Caps suffered another defeat in a 92-81 to the table-topping Townsville Fire.
The win for the Fire came despite a monster game from Abby Bishop, who continues to be the star for the Capitals in Jackson’s absence.
Bishop finished with 35 points, 8 rebounds and 4 steals in defeat, shooting at 56% from the field as she clashed with Suzy Batkovic and Cayla Francis in the paint.
Batkovic (24 points, 14 rebounds, 6 assists) and Francis (21 points, 9 rebounds) combined for 45 points and 23 rebounds, which provided an exciting battle with Bishop and Steph Talbot (18 points, 7 rebounds) in the paint.
Mia Newley added 13 points and 5 boards for the Fire, who improved to 9-2 on the season with the win.
University of Canberra 81 (Bishop 35, Talbot 18, Bibby 10)
Townsville 92 (Batkovic 24, Francis 21, Newley 13)
For full results and ladders head to www.wnbl.com.au or click here.