October 22, 2018 | WNBL news

Only two teams remain unbeaten at the end of Round 2 with Bendigo notching a second straight victory while the UC Capitals showed they can get the job done on the road and at home to move to a 3-0 record.

Adelaide Lightning 65 def. by JCU Townsville Fire 75

Trailing by seven points at quarter-time, Adelaide hung tough with the defending Champions and clawed their way to take the lead with six minutes remaining when Nicole Seekamp (17 points, five rebounds, four assists, six steals) scored. The Lightning could not get the stops at the defensive end though, giving up 19 points from that point on as Townsville hit six of their last seven shots. Micaela Cocks gave them some breathing room with consecutive three-pointers before Suzy Batkovic (19 points, 12 rebounds, five assists, three steals, three blocks) finished them off, tallying nine points for the quarter. Her presence in the paint, alongside Darcee Garbin (20 points) and Zitina Aokuso (14 points, seven boards) proved too much for the home side.


Chris Lucas, Lightning head coach: “Unfortunately we didn’t shoot the ball particularly well, especially early. We had four players with a very low clip and at this level you just can’t have that. We missed foul shots when we shouldn’t have, were outrebounded and shot the ball poorly.”

Claudia Brassard, Fire head coach: “We knew we had a size advantage and it was important that we exploited that. They did a good job of doubling Suzy, but we knew that meant we had to have an advantage with our other bigs and Darcee and Zitina did a great job over going to work. They really stood up for us when it mattered most.”

Jayco Rangers 66 def. Brydens Sydney Uni Flames 62

The Rangers fought out a scrappy contest with Sydney Uni, putting together a winning streak with a thrilling fourth-quarter comeback. Dandenong had scored only 44 points to three-quarter time and found themselves down seven but an 11-2 run to begin the fourth term put them in front. After clinching their win last weekend against Townsville, Bec Cole (21 points, three steals0 again came up big down the stretch with three important buckets, Amelia Todhunter’s defensive hustle proved important and Betnijah Laney finished with 17 points, 12 rebounds and six assists. Alex Bunton (16 points, 15 rebounds) recorded a double-double for the Flames and Belinda Snell had 11 points but did not play the second half.


Bec Cole, Rangers: “It was just the fire that we have, that we know we can do this. I don’t think we played our best game but we dug deep, we backed each other and I know I was wearing my heart on my sleeve in that fourth quarter.”

Alex Bunton, Flames: “We didn’t have our offence down pat and that was huge for us. There is no excuse, if they run at us, we have to run at them but it was a huge improvement from last week, we have to be positive.”

Deakin Melbourne Boomers 65 def. by University of Canberra Capitals 72

Melbourne’s woes from their opening round loss seemed to linger on Friday night in Geelong, giving up a 17-point lead by half-time. They did threaten a comeback, closing within five points late as Ezi Magbegor scored 19 points and Maddie Garrick returned to the floor with seven points but the margin proved too great to overcome. The Caps were led by Kelsey Griffin (23 points, 14 rebounds, five steals), who looks comfortable after recovering from a pre-season injury while Kelly Wilson played all 40 minutes for ten points and eight assists to help her side start their season with two straight road wins.


Paul Goriss, Caps head coach: “It is [a great way to start] but we know there’s still a long way in this season. The style we’re playing, people should be excited to come and watch us at home.”

Bendigo Bank Spirit 87 def. Jayco Rangers 65

Potentially taking advantage of a Rangers side on their second night of a double-header, the Spirit pulled away with a 52-27 second half to stay unbeaten after two rounds. They shot 52% as a team and five players hit double-figures led by Becca Tobin (24 points, 11 rebounds) and Nat Hurst (18 points on 4-4 three-point shooting). Kayla Pedersen played a lone hand in the paint for Dandenong with 13 points and 15 rebounds.


Simon Pritchard, Spirit head coach: “We forced them to do stuff in the half court that they really didn’t want to do. We knew if we could keep the game close in the first half that they would fatigue in the second half.”

Perth Lynx 98 def. JCU Townsville Fire 88

Struggling to find their offence in Round 1, Perth had no such troubles on Sunday as seven different players hit three’s on their way to tallying 15 for the game. They broke the game open in the second term, hitting 5-5 from distance as a team and while the Fire hit 13 triples themselves, they could not get the stops at the defensive end to help reel in the deficit. Brittany McPhee burst on to the scene with 32 points and seven rebounds, Asia Taylor recorded 21 points, two steals and two blocks while Toni Farnworth had 13 points and six assists off the bench. The visitors were again paced by Suzy Batkovic (23 points), Tess Madgen had 12 points and seven assists while their bench scored 26 points.


Andy Stewart, Lynx head coach: “When you’re on, which we were in the second quarter, we’re a very good basketball team.”

Claudia Brassard, Fire head coach: “Shooting with a hand in your face is a little bit more challenging than us allowing some open shots. I thought we had too many breakdowns defensively. We tried a few different things switching up our defences and it didn’t really slow them down.”

Brydens Sydney Uni Flames 75 def. by Deakin Melbourne Boomers 87

Melbourne gave up the first 13 points of the game but fought back to record their first win of the 2018/19 season. Sydney Uni were hampered by injuries with Belinda Snell missing the game, Alex Bunton hurting her leg and Tahlia Tupaea (21 points) suffering concussion symptoms after a hard fall but the Boomers finally looked like they were clicking. Lindsay Allen led the way with 23 points and kept them in the contest early, Jenna O’Hea caught fire in the second half, scoring 19 points on 5-6 shooting from beyond the arc and Cayla George had a near triple-double with nine points, nine rebounds and ten assists. Despite the loss, Bunton again held her own in the paint with a double-double of 19 points and 11 boards.


Cheryl Chambers, Flames head coach: “We were the walking wounded out there, it was terrible. “We really missed Snelly’s leadership out there. I’m just hoping we have some players left to train.”

University of Canberra Capitals 79 def. Adelaide Lightning 75

It was a tight battle all day but after getting their noses in front early, Adelaide looked like they were holding their nerve. The visitors led by four points at half-time and three at three-quarter time but only five minutes later, the Caps had reversed the score-line. Kelsey Griffin (21 points, eight rebounds) was the catalyst for the comeback, scoring nine points in that five-minute period and 11 for the quarter before Lauren Scherf (12 points, ten boards) clinched the victory with three consecutive baskets for the Caps. Remaining unbeaten, Canberra also welcomed Leilani Mitchell who played 28 minutes for six points and four assists while Kia Nurse again impressed with 14 points and ten rebounds. Steph Blicavs top-scored for the Lightning, recording 18 points and four assists.


Paul Goriss, Caps head coach: “We’ve got great veterans but there is a belief in this group that whatever anyone can throw at us, we can handle some adversity and we showed that.”

Media Links

Jasper Fjeldstad recapped the Lightning’s poor finish to their Friday night clash against Townsville for the Adelaide Advertiser

Trent Slatter discussed the emergence of Zitina Aokuso in the Fire’s win for the Townsville Bulletin

Roy Ward looked at Dandenong’s impressive finish to their Friday night victory over Sydney Uni for The Age

Chris Dutton analysed Kelsey Griffin’s big game in the Caps’ win over Melbourne for the Canberra Times

Adam Bourke reviewed the Spirit’s undefeated start to the season for the Bendigo Advertiser

Slatter backed up on Sunday and covered the Fire’s loss to Perth for the Townsville Bulletin

Amanda Lulham wrote about the Flames’ injury woes for the Daily Telegraph

Rob Greenwood was there for the Lightning’s late fade-out against the Caps on Sunday for the Adelaide Advertiser

From the other side, Caden Helmers looked at the Caps’ comeback for the Canberra Times