The Deakin Melbourne Boomers have fallen disappointingly short in their opening best-of-three WNBL Semi-final game against the Adelaide Lightning on Sunday night, going down 60-76.
Despite the Boomers holding a clean series sweep over the Lightning in the regular season, it was the visitors this time who managed to notch up the important victory.
Ezi Magbegor was the bright spark for the Boomers, scoring a team-high 14 points on an outstanding 100 per cent shooting. Cayla George finished with a game-high 12 rebounds, while Lindsay Allen also put on a strong effort for the Boomers front with her 12 points and 5 assists.
A loud crowd of 2,213 came out to the State Basketball Centre to witness the very physical and entertaining contest.
The Boomers looked strong from the offset as both teams got out to high speed start. Recently recognised WNBL Life Member Jenna O’Hea kicked things off hot for the Boomers with an early basket in the opening seconds. After that it quickly became a point-for-point contest before the Boomers took a 4-point lead at quarter-time.
It then continued to be an arm-wrestle of a first half, as both teams kept their offensive and defensive efforts under control. Entering the half-time break scores became levelled at 35-points apiece.
After the main break, however, the Boomers failed to capitalise on several key opportunities. Meanwhile, the Lightning’s attack that struck in the second half proved too much for the home team to handle. Riding the momentum, the Lightning managed to outscore the Boomers 41-25 in the second half to drill home the victory.
The loss marks a frustrating Semi-final start for the Boomers, however, with the three-game series the club has another opportunity to keep their 18/19 Finals hopes alive.
The series now heads to Adelaide for a must-win Semi-final Game 2 on Thursday night at 7pm (Melbourne time) televised live on Fox Sports Australia channel 506.
Deakin Melbourne Boomers 60 (Ezi Magbegor 14, Lindsay Allen 12, Steph Talbot 9) Def by Adelaide Lightning 76 (Nicole Seekamp 18, Nia Coffey 16, Lauren Nicholson 10).
View the full live stats here: https://www.fibalivestats.com/u/wnbl/1087572/lds.html
SEMI-FINAL GAME 2: Deakin Melbourne Boomers vs Adelaide Lightning – Thursday Jan 31, Titanium Security Arena in Adelaide (7pm Melbourne time).