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Lights out for Perth: WNBL Rd.15 Wrap


TURNING back a 21-point deficit to beat the Lynx in Perth 82-81, Adelaide produced one of its greatest WNBL comebacks, but it was costly too, Lauren Nicholson suffering a fractured nose.

That occurred when Lynx import Asia Taylor took a swipe at Nicholson as she drove by her with 9:20 left in the fourth quarter.

Nicholson, the stand-out candidate for the league's Best Defensive Player award, spent quality time restricting Taylor's influence, Alison Schwagmeyer doing much of the damage in the second and third quarters as Perth built its buffer.

Losing Nicholson, who also has been lighting it up from range (she was 2-of-3 from beyond the arc in this one too), meant it definitely looked like lights out for the Lightning.

A corner basket by Brittany McPhee kept the Lynx ahead 66-51 midway through the last quarter and Adelaide's bold finish to the third on an 11-0 run to get it back to 51-59 appeared doomed.

But with Aimie Clydesdale stepping up for a season-best 17 points at 55 percent, with 3-of-4 threes, and Kayla Alexander a giant target for the Lightning, they fought back regardless.

Nicole Seekamp took over from Nicholson, defending and frustrating the physical Taylor, and Nia Coffey was her All Star self as Adelaide not only pinched the lead but then was good enough again to tie the match at 72-72 on another Alexander make.

The overtime was heart-stopping, Adelaide finally ahead and Coffey completing the win with her seventh block of the match on Schwagmeyer's last-gasp drive for a potential winner.

Coffey finished with 20 points, nine rebounds, an assist, a steal and seven blocks. Yes. She is very much in the MVP conversation.

* * *

SO  too is Canberra's Kelsey Griffin, who firmed her favouritism with a 24-point, 20-rebound, three-steal, three-block party against her former Bendigo home team, the Caps winning in double-overtime.

It was another heart-breaker for the Spirit, already dropping three home games this season in overtime. To go down in double-overtime and without import Bec Tobin and star forward Nadeen Payne was an extraordinary effort for Simon Pritchard's last game as coach.

Nat Hurst finished with a season-high 27 points and Abbey Wehrung delivered a 30-point career high, her layup for the win in regulation ruled a millisecond too late.

Mareena Whittle sent the game on to a second extension before the gutsy home team ran out of steam in arguably one of the club's grittiest performances.

Marianna Tolo led the Caps with a season-best 27 points, plus 10 boards.

* * *

MADDIE Garrick found her long-range stroke - and how! - with a career-best 28-point haul on 10-of-13 shooting, including 6-of-9 threes as Melbourne sent Dandenong's season into mothballs with an 11-point road win.

Lindsay Allen threatened a triple-double with 21 points, eight rebounds and six assists, Dandenong's farewell game for longtime import Kayla Pedersen led by All Star Five candidate Bec Cole's 26 points.

* * *

THE  WNBL said farewell to two of its all-time legends Suzy Batkovic (Townsville) and Belinda Snell (Sydney) in Townsville where the Fire were too hot for the Flames, winning 90-82.

Batkovic, returning despite a neck, shoulder and back injury which sabotaged her season, went out a winner and led the Fire with 14 points.

Snell went down fighting, close to a triple-double with 21 points, seven rebounds, nine assists. She also stole the ball three times and hit six 3-pointers.

Will we ever see the like of these superstars again?

* * *

CANBERRA, on a nine-win streak, enjoys home court advantage over Perth Lynx in the 1v4 semi final series tipping off on Friday.

Melbourne, which swept Adelaide 3-0 during the regular season, must start favourite for their 2v3 semi final series. You know, just as Perth did last round...

SEMI-FINAL SERIES (1v4):
Game 1 

University of Canberra Capitals v Perth Lynx
Friday, January 25, 7pm AEDT (4pm AWST)
Study Hall, AIS Arena
LIVE on FOX Sports Australia

Game 2
Perth Lynx v University of Canberra Capitals
Thursday, January 31, 6.30pm AWST (9.30pm AEDT)
The Enclosure, Bendat Basketball Centre
LIVE on FOX Sports Australia

Game 3 (if necessary)
University of Canberra Capitals v Perth Lynx
Saturday, February 2, 7.30pm AEDT (4.30pm AWST)
Study Hall, AIS Arena
LIVE on FOX Sports Australia

SEMI-FINAL SERIES (2v3):
Game 1
Deakin Melbourne Boomers v MAC Adelaide Lightning
Sunday, January 27, 5pm AEDT (4.30pm ACDT)
The Boomerang, State Basketball Centre
LIVE on FOX Sports Australia 

Game 2
MAC Adelaide Lightning v Deakin Melbourne Boomers
Thursday, January 31, 7pm (7.30pm AEDT)
The Lighthouse, Titanium Security Arena
LIVE on FOX Sports Australia

Game 3 (if necessary)
Deakin Melbourne Boomers v MAC Adelaide Lightning
Sunday, February 3, 7.30pm AEDT (7pm ACDT)
The Boomerang, State Basketball Centre
LIVE on FOX Sports Australia

WNBL Round 15
UNIVERSITY of CANBERRA CAPITALS 101
(Tolo 27, Griffin 24, Wilson, Nurse 12, Rocci 11; Griffin 20 rebs; Wilson 9 assts) d BENDIGO BANK SPIRIT 97 (Wehrung 30, Hurst 27, Whittle 15; Whittle 6 rebs; Tomlinson 8 assts) in double overtime at The Goldmine, Bendigo Stadium.
DEAKIN MELBOURNE BOOMERS 89 (Garrick 28, Allen 21, Magbegor 12, O’Hea 11; Talbot 10; Allen 8 rebs; Allen 6 assts) d JAYCO DANDENONG RANGERS 78 (Cole 26, Laney 24, Mijovic 14; Mijovic 6 rebs; Cole 5 assts) at The Ranger Station, Dandenong Stadium.
JCU TOWNSVILLE FIRE 90 (Batkovic 14, Samuels, Garbin 12, Madgen 11, Beck 10; Garbin 8 rebs; Beck 5 assts) d SYDNEY UNI FLAMES 82 (Snell 21, Graham 14, McSpadden 11; McSpadden 12 rebs; Snell 9 assts) at The Fire Station, Townsville Stadium.
MAC ADELAIDE LIGHTNING 82 (Coffey 20, Alexander, Clydesdale 17, Seekamp 11, Nicholson 10; Alexander, Coffey 9 rebs; Blicavs 6 assts) d PERTH LYNX 81 (Schwagmeyer 19, Taylor 15, Ebzery, McPhee 12, Steindl 11; Steindl 10 rebs; Mansfield, Schwagmeyer 4 assts) in overtime at The Enclosure, Bendat Stadium.

Jan 20

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