Lynx race to the top of the ladder while Caps and Spirit stumble in round three of the WNBL.
Perth Lynx 77 def. Bendigo Bank Spirit 72
Despite a furious comeback in the final term, Bendigo Bank Spirit fell just short of the Perth Lynx to be handed their first loss of the 2018/19 season. Trailing by as much as 28 points late in the first half and 12 at three-quarter time, the Spirit closed within five with five minutes to go as Kara Tessari hit consecutive three-pointers and Louella Tomlinson (16 points, eight rebounds) added four points in the final term. Asia Taylor (26 points, nine rebounds) and Alison Schwagmeyer (16 points) were able to hold the visitors off though as Perth's 61-point first half proved enough. Becoming the 49th player to reach the 250-game milestone, Nat Hurst recorded 14 points and seven assists in the loss.
University of Canberra Capitals 78 def. by Deakin Melbourne Boomers 84
Holding off a late charge, the Deakin Melbourne Boomers got the job done defensively as they held the University of Canberra Capitals to 33% shooting for the game while owning a 46-22 edge in the paint. All five Boomers starters hit double-figures, paced by 17 points from Steph Talbot and Lindsay Allen while Ezi Magbegor had a big night with 15 points, nine boards, two assists and three blocks. Kia Nurse led all scorers with 29 points in the Caps' first loss of the season.
JCU Townsville Fire 79 def. Brydens Sydney Uni Flames 76
Missing three of their starters due to injury, a valiant Flames side fell just short of causing a major upset against the reigning Champions. The lead changed hands 17 times throughout the contest as every time Townsville drew close, the Flames would have an answer with Brittany Smart scoring a career-high 24 points. Suzy Batkovic (30 points, 12 rebounds) took over in the fourth quarter, giving the home side a five-point edge with five minutes left but Ally Wilson (21 points, eight assists) caught fire for Sydney Uni, knocking in three three-pointers to put her side back in front by six just two minutes later. Eventually, Townsville's free-throw shooting got them over the line as they hung on to win a thriller after Sarah Graham missed a game-tying attempt on the buzzer.
Jayco Rangers 65 def. by Perth Lynx 90
The Perth Lynx used a 21-6 third term to get the better of the Jayco Rangers, ensuring a sweep of Round 3 that also moved them to the top of the Chemist Warehouse WNBL ladder. Perth controlled things from inside, out-scoring the home side 50-28 in the paint and 25-11 in second chance points while grabbing 14 more rebounds overall. Asia Taylor had 23 points and Brittany McPhee 21 while Dandenong's Betnijah Laney recorded 16 points, nine rebounds and five assists.
Adelaide Lightning 91 def. Bendigo Bank Spirit 63
Leading by only a point at half-time, the Adelaide Lightning pulled away in the second half to secure a comfortable victory behind a monster performance from Nia Coffey. The import had 21 points and 20 rebounds while also adding two assists, a steal and a block as Adelaide got back on the winners list after two straight defeats. Lauren Nicholson added 14 points, Colleen Planeta recorded nine points, nine boards and four blocks off the bench while Kayla Alexander (ten points, five rebounds) made her debut. After starting the season 2-0, Bendigo crashed back to Earth with consecutive losses in Round 3 but Louella Tomlinson stood tall with 16 points off the bench.
ROUND 4 PREVIEW
Next week begins on Thursday night when the Flames host the Lynx. Perth then travel to Townsville on Saturday night for their fourth game in nine days. Bendigo will take on Adelaide for the second time in less than a week and one of the biggest games on the WNBL calendar will occur on Monday night when the Boomers host the Spirit in the Melbourne Cup Eve clash.
You can catch the WNBL action LIVE and in HD on Saturday afternoon from 3pm AEDT when the Rangers renew their cross-town rivalry with Melbourne.Tune in to FOX SPORTS Australia, SBS Australia or SBS on Demand.