GRILL’D POST-GAME REPORT ROUND 5
The Deakin Melbourne Boomers returned to the Heartland of Basketball (State Basketball Centre) and fought hard from behind to defeat the Townsville Fire 84-78. The win takes the Boomers to sit second on the ladder behind the Bendigo Spirit.
The night started off physical on both ends, leading to a tight back-and-forth tussle before Mikaela Ruef hit the scoreboard first for the Townsville Fire from beyond the arc. Olivia Nelson-Ododa set the tone early showing how strong she can be in the paint scoring the first six points for the Boomers. It was over to Mia Murray and Tiffany Mitchell for the rest of the quarter combining for tough points in the paint and a couple of threes; Murray and Mitchell finished the first quarter with 7 points each. The Fire’s outside shooting hurt the Boomers, with the Fire leading 24-19.
The physicality didn’t stop heading into the second. Cayla George and Tiffany Mitchell started the Boomers off with two huge 3’s to cut the Fire’s lead to two. George and Nelson-Ododa were strong in the paint however, the Boomers turnovers proved costly as the Fire found it hard to miss. Play got heated as Murray got physical towards the end of the half, but this wasn’t enough to stop the Fire chipping away on the scoreboard to lead 49-37.
Karlie Samuelson started the third quarter with a neat jump shot, but a Mitchell three sparked a Boomers 14-0 run to tie at the five-minute mark, 51-51. It was basket for basket from that point onward. George was instrumental on the boards recording 5 for the quarter and was tough on the defensive end with a huge block. Kristy Wallace finally hit the scoreboard in what was a strong quarter for her, adding 9 points to the stat sheet. The Fire found it hard to contain Mitchell who added 10 points to her tally and finished the quarter on 75% FG & 100% from beyond the arc. The Boomers were still in the fight, trailing 65-68 heading into the fourth.
The crowd was electric heading in the fourth in what was a tight affair. Miela Goodchild and Kristy Wallace opened the scoring for the Boomers with triples to take the lead, 71-70. Nelson-Ododa made a tough bucket in the paint and went to the line to hit a huge three-point play. Wallace and Nelson-Ododa were dominant scorers in the last and set the Boomers up to put the Fire out, 84-78.
Olivia Nelson-Ododa made her mark in the WNBL in what was arguably her best game for the season and walked away with our Player of the Game. She showed her dominance inside to finish with 17 points and 5 rebounds, shooting at 77% FG. The ever-reliable Tiffany Mitchell recorded 23 points with 83% 3PT. Kristy Wallace had a massive second half with 17 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists. Cayla George recorded another double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
The Deakin Melbourne Boomers hit the road for a doubleheader, first stop is to take on the Sydney Flames on Friday 16th December at 6.30pm AEDT at the Quay Centre; before returning home the Boomers take on the Adelaide Lightning on Sunday 18th December at 3.30pm AEDT at Adelaide Arena. Watch both games live on 9NOW.