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Fire away as Lightning thunder on

ADELAIDE Lightning tonight dealt out a throbbing 86-68 black eye to the Fire in Townsville, six players in double digits and the entire WNBL rotation hitting the floor.

With injured import Crystal Langhorne (knee) and power forward Laura Hodges (calf) at home in the city of churches, it was Townsville which didn't have a prayer as Lightning ran riot, leading by as many as 26 and at one stage peeling off 14 unanswered points.

Brianna Turner (19 points at 63 percent, 9 rebounds, an assist, 2 steals and 3 blocks) certainly found her feet and ably was supported by Steph Talbot (18 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks), Lauren Nicholson (15 points at 55 percent), Nat Hurst (13 points at 67 percent, 4-of-5 threes, 4 boards, 3 assists), Nicole Seekamp (11 points, 4 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals) and Chelsea Brook (10 points at 60 percent).

It was Brook's historic first start in the WNBL, Jennie Rintala joining the rotation as the interim import while Langhorne is on injury waivers.

Coach Chris Lucas had the luxury of throwing minutes into Hannah Kaser and Sarah Elsworthy, and at Dani Angley and Jessie Edwards, courtesy of 52 percent shooting as a unit.

Townsville could muster only 36 percent shooting in response to Adelaide's defensive pressure as the Lightning also won the boards 41-34 while knocking down 11-of-23 threes.

Hurst helped break open the game late in the first quarter with consecutive 3-pointers that swept Adelaide from 15-12 to 21-12, Seekamp's free throws blowing out the buffer to 23-12 by the first break.

The barrage continued in the second quarter as Turner asserted herself and was on the end of some sizzling assists as Lightning broke to a 19-point lead at 45-26.

Ahead 18 at halftime, the teams played the second half even at 34-34 although Lightning never was truly threatened.

Former Adelaide captain Abby Bishop led the Fire with 24 points on 9-of-21 shooting but import Bridget Carleton, who debuted last week with a 20-point, seven-rebound performance in the road loss to Southside, was completely obliterated.

Carleton played 23:29, was held scoreless on 0-of-5 shooting and was allowed just the solitary rebound, Lightning's scout on her sure to be sought by a few other clubs.

When Micaela Cocks crashed to the floor in the first half fighting for a steal and banged her head, her night was over and, effectively, so was Townsville's.

With a 15-point, 10-rebound double-double, Darcee Garbin fought hard for the home team, to little avail.

Adelaide is on the road next week to face the Lynx in Perth on Saturday but Townsville now must regroup to take on the champion Capitals in Canberra on Sunday.

ADELAIDE LIGHTNING 86 (Turner 19, Talbot 18, Nicholson 15, Hurst 13, Seekamp 11, Brook 10; Turner 9 rebs; Seekamp 7 assts) d TOWNSVILLE FIRE 68 (Bishop 24, Garbin 13; Garbin 10 rebs; Madgen 4 assts) at The Firehouse, Townsville Stadium.

Oct 18

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