December 7, 2023 | Perth Lynx news

The final scoreline wasn’t pretty but it was a single figure ball game going into the fourth quarter until the Melbourne Boomers put their foot down from there to end up beating the Perth Lynx 93-62 on Thursday night.

The two teams did battle back on Sunday in Melbourne where the Lynx produced a tremendous performance to score the 80-63 victory and to hand the Boomers their first defeat of the WNBL season.

It was a return encounter at Bendat Basketball Centre on Thursday night and the Lynx opened up a six-point lead late in the first quarter. However, Melbourne worked its way on top from there and ended up scoring the 31-point victory to square the series between the two teams.

Where the game was won

The Lynx went on a 12-0 run late in the opening quarter to work on top in the contest but by half-time Melbourne had managed to assume the lead to be on top 43-39.

That lead for the Boomers was out to eight by three quarter-time and the visitors then dominated the fourth quarter outscoring the Lynx 27 points to four and that saw that margin balloon to 31 by the final buzzer.

It was a terrific outside shooting performance from Melbourne who went 11/23 as a team from beyond the arc while also forcing the Lynx into 18 turnovers from which they were able to score 22 points.

The Boomers also scored 22 second chance points from their 10 offensive rebounds so they made the Lynx pay for the majority of those.

It was a rough shooting night for Perth who went just 3/27 at 11 per cent from three-point territory and 21/70 at 30 per cent overall from the floor.

Who the standout performers were

Aari McDonald finished up with 15 points, five assists, four rebounds and two steals for the game for the Lynx while making 6/7 of her free-throw attempts.

Amy Atwell also scored 15 points on 5/6 shooting from the foul line to go with three rebounds.

Emily Potter contributed 12 points and eight rebounds, Anneli Maley 11 points, nine boards and three assists, Alex Ciabattoni seven points, four assists, three rebounds and two steals, and Mackenzie Clinch Hoycard two points and four rebounds.

From the 11 three-pointers that Melbourne hit, three each came from Keely Froling and Sara Blicavs, and two to Tera Reed. Naz Hillmon top-scored with 20 points while Froling had 16 points and 10 rebounds, Blicavs 17 points, and Reed 13 points and six boards.

How the game panned out

The Boomers opened the game scoring the first five points and soon the visitors were leading 12-4 but then the Lynx worked their way into the contest impressively for the rest of the opening period.

After Melbourne led 14-6, Perth scored 16 of the last 19 points of the quarter including going on a 12-0 run that included a couple of buckets to Aari McDonald along with scores from Emily Potter, Anneli Maley and Alex Ciabattoni, and free-throws to Alex Ciabattoni.

Potter and Maley then also scored to help the Lynx lead 22-17 by quarter-time with 14 rebounds to eight, and six offensive boards to two proving critical for the home team.

While the Lynx had the momentum going into quarter-time, Melbourne came out to score the first six points of the second period to grab the lead. The Boomers then went up 30-25 but the Lynx responded starting with three balls from Atwell and McDonald.

However, Melbourne also hit some big threes heading towards half-time from Sara Blicavs and Keely Froling to take the 43-39 advantage into the break.

Perth were shooting just 41 per cent from the field and 2/13 from behind the three-point line with 10 turnovers despite McDonald and Atwell combining for 23 points.

The Lynx then did pull the margin back to one early in the third quarter thanks to a triple from Atwell and another bucket to Maley, but the Boomers began to pull away and triples to Froling and Tera Reed pushed their advantage out to 66-58.

It would prove a fourth quarter to forget for Perth, though, with just the one field goal the entire 10 minutes which came from Atwell. The only other points were two free-throws to McDonald but outside of that it was all the Boomers with 27 points including the last 14 of the game to secure the 31-point win.

What’s next for the Lynx

It’s a short turnaround now for the Lynx to play again in Round 6 of the WNBL in what will be a last road game until New Year’s Eve. It takes place in Adelaide on Sunday against the Lightning in the second meeting between the two teams this season with the Lynx winning at home 92-85 back on November 11.

Following that, Perth is back home to Bendat Basketball Centre for a string of three home matches at Bendat Basketball Centre on Wednesday December 13 against the Sydney Flames, Saturday December 23 against the Southside Flyers and then Wednesday December 27 against the UC Capitals.


PERTH LYNX 62 (McDonald 15, Atwell 15, Potter 12)

MELBOURNE BOOMERS 93 (Hillmon 20, Blicavs 17, Froling 16)