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WNBL: Lightning sneak second win

ADELAIDE snuck its nose in front at the game's death tonight to stave off a near-miss upset by Perth Lynx 74-69, taking its record at the WNBL hub in north Queensland to 2-0 with another thrilling win.

Lightning opened at a brisk tempo with captain Steph Talbot scoring their first seven points before running afoul of three of the most whistle-happy referees at the hub, and heading to the bench.

Continuing on from her 31-point all-court extravaganza in Adelaide's overtime win over dual-defending champion Canberra, Talbot still finished strongly for 24 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and two steals but it was Perth who controlled the tempo for most of the contest.

Down injured starter Abbey Wehrung who rolled her ankle at practice two days ago, Lightning often looked out-of-sync offensively.

In contrast, Perth found its rhythm and confidence through on-court leaders Katie Ebzery (25 points) and Darcee Garbin (15 points) and received a further boost off the bench through Alex Ciabattoni.

While the Lynx's lead never exceeded six points, Adelaide went deep into its bench to receive quality minutes from Taylor Ortlepp (9 points) and finally pull ahead at 69-66.

Adelaide had a chance to run some clock but Talbot pulled up for the potential sealer on the break. When her jumpshot missed, it was her former Forestville junior teammate Ciabattoni who struck a 3-pointer at the other end to tie it up 69-69 with just over a minute left.

Talbot's slick pass to Marena Whittle for 71-69 was huge and her two free throws with 20 seconds left ensured Perth would not have time to execute two game-stealing plays.

Whittle came through when needed with 11 points and 12 rebounds but her 4-of-15 shooting was indicative of a day Adelaide shot at 31 per cent and Perth at 34.

ADELAIDE LIGHTNING 74 (Talbot 24, Wilson 12, Whittle 11; Whittle 12 rebs; Wilson 5 assts) d PERTH LYNX 69 (Ebzery 25, Garbin 15, Ciabattoni 10; Sharp 9 rebs; Burrows, Garbin 3 assts) in Mackay.

Nov 15

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