The minor premiers have made a statement in Game 1 against the defending champs while Perth will take some confidence heading into a must-win game on Friday night despite their loss to Dandenong.
Game 1 Semi-Final
Jayco Dandenong Rangers 73 defeated Perth Lynx 66
The Rangers looked to be cruising to a 1-0 lead over Perth as they headed into the final term, having led by as much as 25 points thanks to the hot shooting of Steph Cumming (25 points on 10-14). However, the Lynx finished the game with a 26-12 final term, sending a scare through the home crowd and giving themselves some momentum heading into Game 2 despite the eventual loss.
Aside from Cumming, Natalie Novosel came up big for Dandenong as she scored 15 points off the bench, including a dagger three-pointer midway through the fourth quarter that halted a 7-0 run from the Lynx. Sara Blicavs also added 11 points and eight rebounds while Aimie Clydesale combined seven boards and five assists with three points.
For the Lynx, Sami Whitcomb collected 24 points and 13 rebounds while Ruth Hamblin (15 points, seven rebounds) and Tessa Lavey (11 points) were instrumental in the fight-back. Heading into a must-win Game 2 on Friday night, they will be keen to receive more production from the likes of Carley Mijovic though, who was held to just two points on 1-11 shooting.
Larissa Anderson, Rangers coach:ÊÔÕItÕs a fantastic win. Huge to get game one at home and take the lead in the series. We panicked, missed some easy looks and didnÕt execute down the stretch but we still found a way to win.ÕÕ
Andy Stewart, Lynx coach:ÊÒWe had significant lapses. We canÕt have that down-time. Dandenong sustained high level of execution and intensity for longer than us, and thatÕs why they won.Ó
Game 1 Semi-Final
Brydens Sydney University Flames 111 defeated JCU Townsville Fire 69
The Flames made a massive offensive statement in Game 1, shooting 61% from the field and 10-25 from the three-point line with 11 players hitting the scoreboard in a wire-to-wire victory.
Alex Wilson was on fire with 27 points including 5-8 long range shooting and her fellow starters, Leilani Mitchell (19 points), Asia Taylor (19 points) and Belinda Snell (ten points, six boards, five assists) were also devastating while Tahlia Tupaea (nine points) summed up the hosts’ night with an incredible buzzer-beater from half court on the three-quarter time siren.
For the Fire, Batkovic recorded another double-double of 18 points and ten rebounds while Mia Murray drilled three from distance for 17 points and Darcee Garbin impressed off the bench with ten points. The defending champions have their work cut out for them though ahead of Friday night as they aim to keep their chances of a three-peat alive in Game 2.
Cheryl Chambers, Flames coach:ÊÒThey were great. They really gave their all. We just played great defence, played together as a team and everyone chipped in. We even got everyone off the bench and everyone gave us something.Ó
Claudia Brassard, Fire coach: ÒIn the last two weeks weÕve given up 200 points, no oneÕs going to win a championship playing that kind of defence. That is the frustration. We spoke about it in the locker room, we play tougher defence against each other at training then we do against the other team. It comes down individually to our ability to contain your own player, are you a player who needs help all the time or not?Ó
Kelly Wilson is unsure of her own playing future reports Jon Tuxworth for the Townsville Bulletin: http://www.townsvillebulletin.com.au/sport/wilson-unsure-of-wnbl-future/news-story/28a83b5e18ecbce5972d97ad434a36cd
Brittany Carter featured Asia TaylorÕs journey to the WNBL for the ABC: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-02-25/fringe-wnba-player-asia-taylor-making-waves-in-wnbl/8303532?section=sport
Caden Helmers filed this for The Canberra Times as the Caps look to shore up their roster in the coming weeks: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/sport/act-sport/canberra-capitals-move-to-lock-in-playing-roster-after-best-wnbl-season-in-six-years-20170220-guhgl0.html
Roy Ward of The Age looked at DandenongÕs Semi-Final victory from Saturday night: http://www.theage.com.au/sport/basketball/wnbl-dandenong-rangers-take-game-one-over-perth-lynx-in-wnbl-semi-final-series-20170225-gul95d.html
Megan Hustwaite also analysed the RangersÕ win for Leader Newspapers: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/leader/south-east/sport/dandenong-rangers-hold-off-fastfinishing-perth-lynx-to-take-10-lead-in-wnbl-semifinal-series/news-story/3500c51b458f12227c707ef28d0e9f6f
Amanda Lulham reported on the impressive Flames performance for Swoop: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/swoop/wnbl-sydney-uni-flames-beat-townsville-fire-11169-in-first-semifinal/news-story/ec4a9fd1a1080399ac5449332d47af19
Claudia Brassard laments the FireÕs defence reports Jon Tuxworth of the Townsville Bulletin: http://www.townsvillebulletin.com.au/sport/fires-season-on-brink-after-sydney-belting/news-story/6418c430b4636f756f5ab3be187ce269
The WNBL announced this week that Monique Conti was the recipient of the 2016/17 Betty Watson Rookie of the Year award: http://wnbl.basketball/wnbl-201617-betty-watson-rookie-year/
The WNBL also announced Cheryl Chambers as the 2016/17 Coach of the Year: http://wnbl.basketball/wnbl-201617-coach-year/