December 20, 2023 | Melbourne Boomers news

A week removed from being snubbed by Australian Opals selectors, Sydney flamethrower Lauren Nicholson took out her frustrations on the Melbourne Boomers with a devastating shooting performance.

Nicholson, 30, drained six of her eight three-point tries on her way to a game-high 24 points, inflicting a third-straight loss on the injury-ravaged Boomers, 86-58. Nicholson’s name was a conspicuous omission from the recently-announced Opals squad for February’s Paris Olympic qualifiers in Brazil.

“It was really disappointing but I can’t do much about it and every game I’m just going to try to get better,” Nicholson said on the ESPN broadcast, post-game.

“Getting wins with this group is just the focus for now. “(The win is) really confidence building for our group. Tonight was a really, really good one for us.”

Nicholson’s running mate Emma Clarke poured in 16 points off the bench, primarily thanks to five three pointers as the white-hot Flames made a season-high 18-33 from deep at an ultra efficient 54 per cent in reigning WNBL MVP Cayla George’s return to Melbourne since she signed with the Flames.

Entering the game without MVP fancy Jordin Canada (concussion) and fellow WNBA point guard Kristy Wallace gone), playmaking was always going to be a stress for the Boomers and the difference in offensive fluidity between the two teams was stark.

As the ball continually stuck for the Boomers, it zipped and pinged for the Flames, leading to a 24-11 assist disparity, import guard Paige Bradley dishing up nine on a platter. Keely Froling (14) Sara Blicavs (11) and Monique Conti (10) were the Boomers’ key attacking threats on a night where they never really looked in the contest.

It was a tough loss for the Boomers, making it their third consecutive defeat of the season and showing that the loss of their injured point guards are cutting deep.

The Boomers will now travel to Townsville to take on the Townsville Fire on Xmas Eve eve and do their best to dethrone the reigning top team on the WNBL ladder.


The Melbourne Boomers will return home to the Boom Box late next week on Saturday the 30th of December, facing off against the Bendigo Spirit. You can purchase tickets here or watch for free on 9Now at 5pm!