The Perth Lynx took control over the last three quarters against the Adelaide Lightning on Friday night to put together an impressive performance to stay in the playoff hunt with the 82-72 victory.
The Lynx returned home to Bendat Basketball Centre for their final game of 2022 after the last two matches on the road, including a last up win over the UC Capitals, to host the Lightning in their first meeting this WNBL season.
Lynx worked their way on top
Adelaide arrived looking to snap a four-game losing run as well and the Lightning started strongly and were leading 26-19 early in the second quarter still.
However, from that point the Lynx took charge to score 19 of the last 30 points of the half, and then to outscore the Lightning 44 points to 35 in the second half to score the 10-point win and improve to a 4-5 record.
The Lynx ended up dominating the boards with 51 rebounds to 41 from the Lightning including 18 at the offensive end for 14 second chance points. Perth might have only shot 8/33 from downtown, but scored 50 points in the paint to Adelaide’s 36 and also scored 13 points from the 14 forced turnovers.
The standout performers
Chloe Bibby put together another terrific showing for the Lynx to end up top-scoring with 25 points and nine rebounds on the back of shooting 10/20 from the field.
Lauren Scherf was outstanding to threaten a triple-double with 11 points, 14 rebounds, eight rebounds, four blocks and three steals in quite the spectacular all-round performance.
Amy Atwell found some scoring touch too off the bench in her 25 minutes for 14 points and eight rebounds on 6/10 shooting with captain Sami Whitcomb contributing 11 points and five assists.
Alex Sharp added 10 points, six rebounds and four assists, Robbi Ryan nine points, six boards and four assists, and Tayah Burrows two points.
Steph Talbot also threatened a triple-double for Adelaide finishing with 12 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists with Jacinta Monroe top-scoring with 23 points to go with 10 rebounds.
How it all panned out
Adelaide arrived looking to snap a four-game losing run and on the back of parting ways with import Kierstan Bell, but the Lightning started strongly with Jacinta Monroe scoring the game’s opening five points.
The Lynx responded with the next four points courtesy of Lauren Scherf and Sami Whitcomb, but the Lightning had come to play and were soon back up 9-4, and still 14-10 despite a three each from Whitcomb and Chloe Bibby.
Bibby knocked down another triple and scored Perth’s last 10 points of the opening quarter but Adelaide remained on top to lead 24-17 by quarter-time.
Amy Atwell provided the spark for Perth early in the second quarter and her seven points including a three-pointer helped bring scores back level. Eventually a late bucket to Scherf gave the Lynx the 38-37 edge going into the half-time break.
The Lynx had done well with the 26 points in the paint to take the lead to make up for 4/18 three-point shooting, but despite those inside points they didn’t make a single trip to the foul line.
Monroe again started the second half well to give Adelaide the first four points and the lead again, but the Lynx would soon make the game changing run that began with a bucket to Robbi Ryan on the pin-point pass from Whitcomb.
Bibby then added a couple of buckets, Ryan scored again a couple more times and then Whitcomb not only scored, but also helped set up an Alex Sharp three-point play. The Lynx put together the 15-0 run to go from three points down to leading by 12.
Bibby ensured Perth were still up 61-49 by three quarter-time. Triples from Sharp and Atwell early in the fourth saw that lead grow to 15, and even though Adelaide did get back to within nine late in the piece, they never seriously threatened.
The Lynx had all the answers and late threes from Bibby and Ryan secured the eventual 10-point victory to the delight of the home fans.
What’s next for the Lynx
The Lynx remain at home for the next two matches as well against the Sydney Flames next Saturday and then the Southside Flyers on Friday January 13.
CYGNETT WNBL ROUND 8
PERTH LYNX 82 (Bibby 25, Atwell 14, Scherf 11, Whitcomb 11)
ADELAIDE LIGHTNING 72 (Monroe 23, Whittle 12, Talbot 12)