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WNBL: Lynx bolt out of calculations

PERTH has fallen out of WNBL Final Four calculations after a soul-destroying double-road loss, with Sydney - the only team the Lynx have beaten this season, and three times - emerging as a challenger for Adelaide's spot.

That happened today when the Flames weathered a tired and injury-setback Lightning team 81-69 in Sydney, to bring Adelaide's record to 5-5 and their own to 4-7.

The Flames are now within touching distance of the Final Four, are 1-1 with Adelaide and working to get into calculations.

Today's match at Qudos Bank Arena  was covered here, Perth also going down today after a torrid match with the Boomers in Melbourne.

Perth put itself into a strong position with a terrific second quarter effort in which the Lynx outscored the Boomers 25-15.

Alison Schwagmeyer-Belger was working hard, Nadeen Payne delivered and Perth had its tail up at the break.

Melbourne made no significant inroads in the third quarter but a 25-10 final period when the Lynx hit the wall and Melbourne hit its stride was the turning point.

IN BALLARAT, Canadian international and WNBA superstar Kia Nurse put on a shooting exhibition of unbelievable proficiency to underscore a 91-66 rout by defending champion Canberra over Bendigo.

Nurse had 10 points inside three minutes to launch the game, immediately putting the Caps on the front foot. Bendigo seized it second quarter moments to fight back and briefly pinch the lead at 26-25.

Nurse returned from a brief spell on the bench to swish two 3-pointers, putting down the Spirit rebellion, hitting six consecutive triples into the third period, then adding insult-to-injury with a traditional three-point play when fouled on a finger-roll.

In all, Nurse had 7-of-10 threes in her 32-point haul, shot 57 percent from the floor and dished three assists. Marianna Tolo was an inside force and Kelsey Griffin paired 15 points with 12 rebounds, Olivia Epoupa adding 11 points, six rebounds and six assists.

Tessa Lavey led Bendigo with 17 points, imports Rebecca Tobin and Marte Grays combining for eight points on 4-of-7 shooting and 10 rebounds.

* * *

AT Dandenong, Jenna O'Hea (22 points, six assists) had an outstanding game to pace league-leading Southside Flyers to an 89-82 win over crosstown derby rival Melbourne, claiming the Michele Timms Cup in the process.

The Flyers' 31-15 second period set them on the road to victory but Melbourne dug deep in the last quarter, producing a thrilling 11-0 run.

Leading 82-69 on Leilani Mitchell's free throws with 6:29 left, Southside appeared home.

Maddie Garrick (18 points) ignited the Melbourne rally with a 3-pointer, Ezi Magbegor trimming the deficit to eight.

Consecutive Cayla George (19 points, eight rebounds) baskets followed by a Magbegor score meant the Boomers were at 80-82 and rolling.

A tough basket by Mitchell, and free throws to O'Hea, who finished a brilliant 12-of-12 from the stripe, stalled the fightback and Bec Cole's 3-pointer put an end to it.

Sara Blicavs enjoyed a 17-point, 10-rebound double for Southside while for Melbourne, Lindsay Allen had 13 of her 15 points in the first half as the Boomers were sent back to the drawing board.

* * *

ADELAIDE started the round off badly for Perth in Adelaide, that match reviewed here.

IN Townsville, the Fire stampeded Bendigo 94-80, with Darcee Garbin leading the rout with 27 points.

WNBL rookie Demi Skinner had a career-high 26 points for the Spirit on 10-of-16 shooting and converted 6-of-10 threeballs.

Kelly Wilson had seven points, 10 boards and seven assists against her former team but it was all the Fire, Townsville shooting at 50 percent for the game and leading by as many as 25 points.

The win took Townsville out of the bomb shelter, Bendigo dropping into it.

(Turner 24, Nicholson 21, Seekamp 14; Talbot 14 rebs; Seekamp 8 assts) d PERTH LYNX 69 (Ebzery 18, Atkins 15, McGee-Stafford 14; McGee-Stafford 11 rebs; Mansfield 5 assts) at The Lighthouse, Titanium Security Arena
UNI of CANBERRA CAPITALS 91 (Nurse 32, Tolo 16, Griffin 15, Epoupa 11; Griffin 12 rebs; Epoupa 6 assts) d BENDIGO SPIRIT 66 (Lavey 17, Heal 15, Richards 14; Tobin 7 rebs; Wilson 7 assts) at Ballarat.
SOUTHSIDE FLYERS 89 (O’Hea 22, Mitchell 18, Blicavs 17, Russell 14, Cole 12; Blicavs 10 rebs; O’Hea 6 assts) d DEAKIN MELBOURNE BOOMERS 82 (George 19, Garrick 18, Allen 15, Cunningham 11; George 8 rebs; Allen 8 assts) at The Hangar, Dandenong Stadium.
SYDNEY UNI FLAMES 81 (Planeta 28, Kunek 21, Kuster 14; Planeta 12 rebs; Kuster, Kunek 4 assts) d ADELAIDE LIGHTNING 69 (Turner 19, Talbot 18, Westbeld 12, Nicholson 10; Turner, Talbot, Seekamp 7 rebs; Seekamp 7 assts) at The HotHouse, Qudos Bank Arena.
JCU TOWNSVILLE FIRE 94 (Garbin 27, Carleton 18, Madgen 17, Vanloo 15; Carleton, Garbin 7 rebs; Vanloo 9 assts) d BENDIGO SPIRIT 80 (Skinner 26, Lavey 14, Tobin 10; Wilson 10 rebs; Wilson 7 assts) at The Fire House, Townsville Stadium.
DEAKIN MELBOURNE BOOMERS 72 (Garrick 17, Cunningham 15, Allen 12, George 11; Purcell 7 rebs; George 4 assts) d PERTH LYNX 63 (Schwagmeyer-Belger 13, Allen 12, McGee-Stafford 11, Ebzery 10; McGee-Stafford 11 rebs; Whittle 5 assts) at The Boomerang, State Basketball Centre.

Dec 8

Content, unless otherwise indicated, is © copyright Boti Nagy.