December 27, 2023 | Perth Lynx news

Amy Atwell caught fire in ways very few can in a remarkable 22-point outburst in the third quarter on her way to 36 points for the game in Wednesday night’s 98-90 home win for the Perth Lynx over the UC Capitals.

The last home game at Bendat Basketball Centre for the Lynx of 2023 saw them fall behind to the bottom placed Capitals by 17 points in the second quarter.

Combined with Aari McDonald leaving the floor with a knee injury at the end of the first quarter and the Lynx had to dig deep. That’s exactly what they did with Atwell leading the charge but receiving plenty of help in the eight-point win that makes four wins in-a-row to keep them second at 8-3.

Where the game was won

The Lynx did find themselves 17 points down by early in the second quarter, but they were able to put together some strong scoring runs that eventually proved match-winning despite losing Aari McDonald on quarter-time to a knee injury.

The first important streak for the Lynx came leading into half-time where they were able to score 17 of 19 points to go from down 17 to just two, and then four on half-time.

The Lynx then scored 11 straight points early in the third quarter so either side of half-time it had been a 28-6 run that turned the complexion of the contest towards the home team.

However, it was Amy Atwell who played match-winner for the Lynx including six three-pointers in a dazzling display in the third quarter.

Then eventually the Lynx scored the last eight points of the contest to break the deadlock which started with a huge three from Alex Ciabattoni who continues her stunning comeback after giving birth to her son in January.

Who the standout performers were

The performance from Lynx vice-captain Amy Atwell was simply remarkable and even more so considering she had just the eight points to her name at half-time.

By the end of the game she had scored 36 points to go with five rebounds, three assists and two steals and on the back of shooting 7/14 from three-point range. However, her defence continues to improve and that included a crucial charge that forced an important turnover.

Emily Potter gave Perth a strong inside presence on her way to 19 points and eight rebounds with captain Anneli Maley adding 17 points, 15 rebounds and two assists.

Miela Goodchild contributed eight points, four rebounds and four assists while Aari McDonald had five points before hurting her knee right on quarter-time.

Mackenzie Clinch Hoycard added five points and four rebounds, Alex Ciabattoni six points, seven assists and two blocks, and Steph Gorman two points, three assists and two rebounds.

Jade Melbourne top-scored for the Capitals with 25 points to go with eight assists and six rebounds with Alex Sharp scoring 16 points and collecting 10 boards against her former team.

How the game panned out

It was a fast start from the visiting Capitals as they opened up an early 8-2 lead with former Lynx forward Alex Sharp scoring four of those points herself, but the Lynx worked back into the contest.

Aari McDonald hit a three to begin to get Perth some flow but the Caps had come out on a mission and by quarter-time had opened up a 27-15 advantage.

That lead for Canberra got out to 16 early in the second quarter as well with Jade Melbourne having a night out knocking down another three-pointer, but then the Lynx got on a roll the rest of the opening half.

Perth was making it a focus of going inside to Emily Potter where she was going to work and by half-time she had 14 points, and late in the opening half the Lynx were able to put together a 17-2 scoring run.

That including a three-pointer and and-one play from Amy Atwell along with three buckets to Anneli Maley and a couple of additions from Mackenzie Clinch Hoycard before the Capitals scored on the buzzer to go into the main break leading 46-42.

The Lynx were then able to shoot out of the blocks to open the second half. After Canberra scored first in the third quarter, the home team scored the next 11 points including a three ball from Atwell and some strong work inside from Maley.

That suddenly had the Lynx leading by five points in a matter of minutes but Atwell was just getting started. For the rest of the third frame she hit another five three-pointers in a remarkable shooting performance.

She hit six threes for the third period alone and put up 22 points from the 33 that the Lynx scored as a team to be leading 75-70 by three quarter-time.

The Capitals weren’t going anywhere, though, and they came out to score the first seven points of the fourth quarter to regain the lead.

That wouldn’t last long, though, with the Lynx answering with nine of the next 11 points to be back on top by five.

It was still a tight contest with three minutes to play after Sharp scored for Canberra to level scores up once more, but then the Lynx took charge for good starting with a three ball from Alex Ciabattoni.

Perth were then able to ice the game at the foul line in the last minute to score the game’s final eight points to win by eight.

What’s next for the Lynx

From now the Lynx finish the season with seven of the last 10 games of the WNBL season away from home starting with two games in Far North Queensland against the league-leading defending champion Townsville Fire.

The first meeting between the two teams who did battle in last season’s semi finals takes place on New Year’s Eve with the second next Wednesday night.


PERTH LYNX 98 (Atwell 36, Potter 19, Maley 17)

UNIVERSITY OF CANBERRA CAPITALS 90 (Melbourne 25, Sharp 16, Fowler 15)