Jackie Young delivered a monstrous first half and her Perth Lynx teammates continued the job the rest of the way to deliver the first win at Bendat Basketball Centre in 26 months, beating the Adelaide Lightning 104-79.
The Lynx made their long-awaited return to their home floor on Saturday night but things didn’t go to plan against the Sydney Uni Flames, but the chance presented again on Monday against a Lightning team arriving in Perth on a three-game winning streak.
That set the stage for a tantalising match up and with Young producing a dynamic first half and Sami Whitcomb putting up 15 points, the Lynx opened up a 12-point half-time lead.
They were able to start the second half on fire and then complete the job for the 25-point victory which was the first win at home for the Lynx since January 2020.
Jackie Young continued her brilliant form for the Lynx picking up the slack in the absence of back court partner Marina Mabrey. On the back of a massive first half, she finished her first win at Bendat Basketball Centre with 30 points, seven rebounds, six assists and five steals on shooting 12/18 from the floor.
Sami Whitcomb also had 15 of her 22 points for the game in the first half on her way to shooting 4/8 from downtown along with five rebounds, four assists and four steals.
They had plenty of help too with captain Darcee Garbin producing 14 points and six rebounds, Alex Ciabattoni 13 points and seven assists, and the returning Lauren Scherf 12 points, four assists, three rebounds and two blocked shots.
Emma Gandini played an important 12 and-a-half minutes too for six points and four rebounds with Alex Sharp adding four points and five boards, and Tayah Burrows two points and two assists.
Alanna Smith and Kiana Williams both finished with 17 points each for the Lightning while Steph Talbot had 13 points and five assists, and Kylee Shook 12 points and six rebounds.
Jackie Young’s big night for the Lynx started at the foul line before she connected from deep. When Alex Ciabattoni and Sami Whitcomb also hit three-pointers, the Lynx were on fire with the lead and momentum early up 11-4.
Perth then closed the opening quarter strongly with a triple each to Whitcomb and Emma Gandini to head into the quarter-time huddle leading 26-18.
It didn’t take too long into the second quarter for the Lynx lead to grow to double-figures and Young ensured it stayed that way with good work taking the ball to the rack and in the mid-range.
Perth’s lead was out to 12 when Whitcomb scored again on her way to 15 first-half points, but it was the 21 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals on 9/11 shooting from Young that was instrumental in the Lynx leading the Lightning 54-42 at half-time.
The Lynx then put the game out of reach of the Lightning to start the second half. It began with a three to captain Darcee Garbin before Young and Lauren Scherf helped that turn into the first seven points of the third quarter and a 19-point edge.
That lead grew later in the quarter to 21 with another long-range bomb from Whitcomb. Ciabattoni then made her second three of the night to make it a 22-point game and Garbin made another from beyond the arc to make it 23.
Perth still led by 21 at three quarter-time and it was back to 23 thanks to Young to open the fourth period. Ciabattoni then had a purple patch with five quick points and Garbin nailed another three.
Perth then got to triple-figures and Gandini knocked down a prayer of a three ball to close it out and give the Lynx the 25-point win to taste victory in front of their home fans for the first time in well over two years.
The two teams now do it all over again on Wednesday night back at the Bendat Basketball Centre before the Lynx finish this home stand against the University of Canberra Capitals on Saturday.
WNBL ROUND 14
PERTH LYNX 104 (Young 30, Whitcomb 22, Garbin 14)
ADELAIDE LIGHTNING 79 (Smith 17, Williams 17, Talbot 13)