Match Report Round 14 v Adelaide Lightning
SUNDAY 13 MARCH 2022
The Deakin Melbourne Boomers take a convincing win against the Adelaide Lightning in Adelaide, for Cayla George’s 300th WNBL game, 72 – 49.
George was fired up throughout the match and ended the afternoon with a double-double, 12 points and 13 rebounds.
Ezi Magbegor showed her dominance throughout all four quarters with 23 points, 14 rebounds, as well as two huge blocks.
Melbourne played all four terms with high intensity and pressure at both ends of the court and capitalised on secondary opportunities, allowing the team more chances to convert.
The first term had both teams shooting efficiently and bringing the heat defensively. Lindsay Allen started Melbourne off with a spinning fadeaway shot which was quickly responded to by Adelaide’s Stephanie Talbot accurately shooting from the perimeter.
The defensive pressure by Melbourne caused Adelaide’s numerous turnovers, ending the afternoon with 18 for the home side. Magbegor showed her athleticism in the key, following up her missed shot and converting at the rim. Tiffany Mitchell displayed her explosive offensive transitions and capitalised at the foul line.
With 3:17 minutes remaining on the clock, Allen draws the foul on Abbey Wehrung as she executed an attacking entry into the key and converts at the foul line and to take Melbourne’s lead to four.
George got in on the action with a fadeaway shot and executed a three-point play as the first term came to a close. Melbourne led at the break, 23 – 18.
Adelaide started the second term off with a shot from beyond the arc which was quickly responded to with the same by George at the other end. Melbourne continued their strong defence as they caused Adelaide a shot clock violation.
Midway through the term, Mitchell caused a turnover, moving into transition with pace as George converted in the key to maintain momentum. Both teams brought on-ball pressure, but Melbourne’s determination and grit were keeping them just in front.
As the first half came to a close, the momentum was on Adelaide’s side as they upped their defensive pressure, giving Melbourne little breathing room.
George and Magbegor linked up with an inside look from Magbegor as she cut through the key, converting at the rim. Adelaide’s Samantha Simons hit from the perimeter in the dying seconds, closing the gap to eight-points at half time. Melbourne maintained their lead, 40 – 32.
Adelaide came out in the third term with an extra level of energy, whilst both teams were pushing the limits of the shot clock. Magbegor was all over the court, executing big offensive and defensive plays for her team.
George got into early foul trouble and ended up with four fouls in the opening minutes of the term, which saw herself on the bench until the final term. Allen continued to display her explosiveness to the basket, converting on the board.
Mitchell had a hot streak in the remaining two minutes of the term as she turned it on, finding space with a jump shot and finding herself at the foul line two times consecutively, giving Melbourne a 10-point lead going into the final term, 57 – 47.
Izzy Wright started the final term with a baseline drive and reverse finish, responded to by Adelaide’s Kiana Williams, as she split the defence for a drive to the basket. Williams had fired up and was on an explosive fast break but was stopped by Lou Brown blocking her at the rim.
Brown executed big defensive stops for Melbourne throughout the term. George was back on and already working herself into the game as she executed a layup. With six minutes remaining, Melbourne was able to break away as they capitalised on secondary opportunities.
Melbourne was playing harder and with increased intensity as fatigue started to set in for Adelaide. Rachel Brewster finished the match off with a corner shot from beyond the arc extending Melbourne’s lead by 23 points, 72 – 49.
The rebound count was a key indicator of what gave Melbourne their edge over Adelaide. Melbourne’s 53 rebounds and 10 steals was in stark comparison to Adelaide’s 35 and four respectively. Melbourne was able to claw back 21 points from turnovers, versus Adelaide’s three.
Melbourne’s overall 10 assists for the game, resulted in a $1000 donation to Lifeline Australia via Southside’s Flyers Assist Program.
The next game to come Melbourne’s way will be the last of the regular WNBL season, playing Canberra next Saturday 26th March, at the Boom Box in Parkville.
This is another championship contender match-up and will be the last round of the regular season before the final series begins. The match-up will decide the possibility of a top two finish on the ladder, and therefore, the opportunity to host a home semi-final series.
The Boomers will need every supporter who can make it to be in the stands cheering us on to lift the team to a win. This will also mark Guy Molloy’s last regular season (home) game in the WNBL, plus, the Boomers will be celebrating Indigenous Round. You won’t want to miss it!