WNBL 2020 RD 1 RESULTS Talbot takes over OT as Lightning strike first in season 2020
A 20-4 run in third quarter led by Ally Wilson gave the Lightning the lead but when the Caps came for them, it was Steph Talbot that took over the game. Read on about our first up win of the WNBL 2020 Season…
Led by Ally Wilson, a 20-4 run in the third quarter gave the Adelaide Lightning the lead, but when the Caps came for them it was Lightning Captain Steph Talbot who stepped up leading her team to a 85-73 win. In the first game of the WNBL season Talbot tallied up 31 points (55 percent), 13 rebounds, 6 steals and 4 blocks with plenty of support from Abbey Wehrung (16 points, 8 rebounds) and Ally Wilson (15 points, 6 assists, 4 rebounds and a +/- of 14).
THE WRAP Q BY Q
Wilson got the Lightning going early with an and1 with plenty of zone defence from both sides protecting the paint. Caps Marianna Tolo entered the game looking dangerous early with a one on one and three offensive rebounds, before Wehrung dropped a triple. However, Keeley Froling (7 points in the opening term) looked hard to stop early with both teams rusty from long range. Late buckets to Tomlinson and Talbot saw the Lightning trail by 14-16 at the quarter break.
Talbot beat the shot clock early in the second quarter from long range, along with Taylor Ortlepp (one of the most efficient players on court for her time) with the Lightning starting to dominate the mid-range key area through Talbot and Chelsea Brook. Switching back to a high press and man to man and with the Caps over the foul limit the Lighting played to their advantage. Tomlinson lifted her game against Tolo with a few blocks, but Maddy Rocci was enjoying her time out against the Lightning again with 9 points and 6 rebounds to half time. Tomlinson beat the buzzer with a rip through off Wehrung with the Lightning taking a one-point lead into the half 35-34.
Once again Talbot kicked off the third in style with a beautiful spin move and finish before Wehrung dropped 5 points in a row to get the led out to a couple of buckets. Wilson got into double figures with a pair of triples and was proving to be highly influential. She was not the only one though as the Lightning pushed the Caps out of the quarter 24-15. Marena Whittle putting the exclamation mark on the quarter with a huge block on Rocci. The Lightning leading 59-49 and three quarter time shooting at just under 50 percent from the field.
In the last quarter the Caps bounced back with Michaela Ruef (13 points, 6 rebounds) who quietly accumulated her way to double figures as they got on a 2-12 quick run in the first few minutes. Talbot stopped the rot with a bucket, but Froling (19 points) and Rocci (21 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists) again were creating headaches for the Lightning. Tomlinson came up with two huge buckets in the fourth keeping the ball alive and hitting a couple of turnaround fade away off the window. Then Wilson found Talbot all alone under the hoop sending her to the charity stripe. Rocci tied it up at 70-70, before Wilson missed her three and = Tomlinson blocked another with Lightning holding possession with 40 seconds to go. Wilson looked like she had the winner from mid-range, but it rimmed, and the game went into overtime 70-70.
Talbot opened OT with a deuce before Wehrung dropped a little nice one to give the Lightning an early lead in the period. Talbot then charged her way through three opponents like bowling pins and finished under the rim, before Wehrung dropped another triple from the corner to give the Lightning a 79-73 lead with 1:21 to go. Talbot charged through again and took over OT to take MVP honours for the game as the Lightning won game one of the WNBL season 85-73.
THE MOMENTS LIGHTNING STRUCK
– The Caps started without Kelsey Griffin and Marianna Tolo on limited minutes which helped the Lightning but certainly would not deliver the result necessarily
– In the second quarter the Lightning turned around the rebound count 13-10 through Talbot and Carlie Smith. Tomlinson also added a couple of blocks.
– In the third quarter, the Lightning went on a 20-4 run through the middle part of the quarter led by Wilson with 8 points.
– The Lightning front court went to work on Keely Froling after quarter time keeping her to 5 points to three quarter time.
– The Lightning had five players in double figures as they spread their scoring however Talbot led all players with 31 points.
– The Lightning shot the ball at 45 percent despite only making 7 of 22 beyond the arc.
THE PLAYERS VIEW
WNBL debutant Carlie Smith played significant minutes and was pleased with the win to start her career.
“We just wanted to put on a good show and show our intensity on defence,” Smith told the Lightning press post game.
The scrappy opening to the game was quickly addressed by coaches Chris Lucas and Nat Hurst and helped set the tone for the second quarter refocus.
“We were rushing and not in our spots in the offensive system, but Chris and Nat were very relaxed and calm and helped us refocus for the second quarter.”
Smith and Tomlinson played significant minutes in the second nullifying Froling and Tolo in the match, which as Smith described came down to her focus on the team and the group.
“We’d heard some news that she may not play big minutes (Tolo) however we were focused on what we wanted to do as a team, playing defence and rebounding which we turned around in the quarter.” Smith described Wilson’s third quarter as running lanes and the impact of Steph Talbot on the group in the second half when the Caps came back at them.
“She (Talbot) is an incredible player and to train and learn from her is wonderful, to have her step up and take the game the way she did was incredible.”
WHEN THE NEXT STRIKE COMES
When it comes to confidence building, this one is a pretty good shot in the arm for the Lightning. With Talbot being more aggressive offensively and looking to make an early statement in the league, Tomlinson relishing extra minutes and inserting her defensive presence and with Smith and Ortlepp looking at home on the big stage, it’s a bright start for the girls.
ADELAIDE LIGHTNING 85 (Talbot 31, Wehrung 16, Wilson 15, Brook, Tomlinson 10) DEFEATED UC CAPITALS 73 (Rocci 21, Froling 19, Ruef 13, Tolo 10) in OVERTIME at McDonalds Mackay Multi Sports Centre