The Deakin Melbourne Boomers have claimed their second win inside 24 hours and a third victory in six days, defeating the Adelaide Lightning 77-74 at the State Basketball Centre.
Boomers star Liz Cambage was integral in the result for the team, putting in a huge game to finish with 44pts, 12rbs and 2blks. Not only did it send basketball pundits racing for the record books, but it absolutely kept every one of the 1800-plus crowd screaming for more.
Clearly feeling the effects of their win against Sydney Uni yesterday, the team took to the court determined to finish their weekend on top. Unbeknown to most, the Boomers suffered a delayed flight out of Sydney and to a player nobody was in bed before 1am.
The Boomers were quick to pick up the lead, thanks to three points from Cambage in the opening 30 seconds. It was a sign of big things to come. Cambage dominated play for the Boomers throughout the first half. Despite often being double or triple teamed, she continued to score freely.
Lightning’s efforts in the paint were frequently hampered, with Boomers defender Kalani Purcell keeping Abby Bishop on the back foot throughout the game. It was a decisive battle that went a long way to the home team claiming the win.
The Boomers held a strong eight point lead at the first break, 24-18, and pushed that to a 42-32 advantage at the half.
Through the second half, Cambage continued to put on a clinic, her ability to finish the work of those around her was clearly appreciated by the vocal Boomers family.
Adelaide came out of the half ready to make a run at the Boomers lead. Natalie Novosel, Abby Bishop and Ruth Hamblin put together a solid team effort, quickly chasing down the Boomers lead as signs of heavy legs started to show.
Adelaide found their first lead of the game with mere seconds left in the third period. Two clutch free throws from Bishop saw the Lightning just sneak into the lead at the final break, 50-52.
The Boomers started their final term in a zone defensively, putting everything on the line in an attempt to slow the Adelaide momentum.
It was back and forth throughout the final term, with Cambage working ever as hard to push the Boomers back into the lead.
In the end, it came down to a team effort with Cambage, Purcell, Garrick, O’Hea and Britt Smart all keeping the Boomers in with a chance.
With the home team holding onto a perilous two point lead with fifteen seconds to play, Cambage and O’Hea knocked down a few clutch free throws to secure the win for the Boomers.
Coach Guy Molloy said the effort from the team over the past 24 hours has been inspirational.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the girls, it’s an inspirational weekend. Playing the top two teams, another really tough opponent and tough game today. So, to come out of the weekend two and zero, I’m very proud of the teams effort.”
The Boomers will now focus on Purple Day next Saturday November 18 with 9-year-old Indyanna Harper set to join the team and make her WNBL debut.
The club expects a huge crowd and is encouraging everyone to purchase tickets early at www.trybooking.com/BOOMERS