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WNBL Rd.10 Wrap: That's just DandyTweet
DANDENONG is for real. Anyone who had any doubts had them partly erased last round but it was powerfully confirmed in the WNBL's Round 10.
The Rangers were challenged by both ends of the league spectrum, first by winless Adelaide, then by second-ranked Perth, Dandenong successfully traversing the "Doomsday Double" by a combined 36 points.
In Adelaide, the Lightning gave as much as they had in the first, third and fourth quarters. But that 27-11 second period by the Rangers was decisive.
Round 9's B.O.T.I. Payer of the Week, Sara Blicavs, started Round 10 without missing a beat, nailing game highs in points (25) and rebounds (13), definitely putting her hand up for this week's chocolate eclair.
She was particularly important in a 10-2 Rangers run in the third when Adelaide had closed to within eight.
Fast-forward to Perth where Stephanie Cumming (pictured above in action against Lightning) led the charge with 22 points at 50 per cent, 11 rebounds and four assists and Dandenong won all four quarters in a 21-point "statement".
(Maybe the Lynx had some "live free-to-air" stage fright!)
Also making a statement - along the lines of "don't count us out just yet, and Belinda WILL be back" - Sydney surprised the Caps in Canberra with Olympian and WNBA star Leilani Mitchell leading the way.
A 17-8 first period set a tone and by the last break, the Flames were ahead by 19 and taking their foot off the pedal, looking ahead to Bendigo's visit to Sydney.
Sydney hit 10-of-18 threes, compared to 5-of-24, a telling stat.
Suzy Batkovic (below) had a season-best 34 points with 14 rebounds as Townsville took care of business in the manner befitting a defending champion, the Fire scorching lowly Melbourne by 27 points.
That made it back-to-back wins for the Fire and a 7-7 record, which should improve again on Friday in Adelaide.
Lightning have picked up star junior Anneli Maley but will wait anxiously on the results of scans tomorrow on captain Laura Hodges' wayward hamstring injury.
Bendigo's Ashleigh Karaitiana had a career-best 17 points as the Spirit ran away from the Flames in Sydney with a 26-15 final period.
SYDNEY UNI FLAMES 84 (Mitchell 23, Wilson 17, Nicholson 16, Hamson 12; Hamson 10 rebs; Mitchell 6 assts) d UNI of CANBERRA CAPITALS 73 (Tolo 19, Wehrung 15, Mansfield 13, Gwathmey, Ruef 12; Ruef 11 rebs; Ruef 5 assts) at Southern Cross Stadium.
JAYCO DANDENONG RANGERS 79 (Blicavs 25, Cumming 15, Clydesdale 11; Blicavs 13 rebs; Clydesdale 3 assts) d MAC ADELAIDE LIGHTNING 64 (Planeta 23; Hodges 19; Plenta 8 rebs; Logic 8 assts) at Titanium Security Arena Arena.
BENDIGO SPIRIT 70 (Karaitiana 17, Griffin 13, Richards 12; Richards 11 rebs; Griffin 4 assts) d SYDNEY UNI FLAMES 55 (Hamson 16, Mitchell, Wilson 10; Hamson 8 rebs; Mitchell, Wilson 3 assts) at Brydens Stadium.
TOWNSVILLE FIRE 93 (Batkovic 34, Standish 18, Murray 13, Kame 11; Batkovic 14 rebs; Cloud 4 assts) d MELBOURNE BOOMERS 66 (Cunningham 15, Kunek, Smart 13, Garrick 10; Cunningham 11 rebs; Cole 5 assts) at The Fire Station, Townsville Stadium.
JAYCO DANDENONG RANGERS 92 (Cumming 22, Malott 19, Clydesdale 15, Novosel 12; Cumming 11 rebs; Todhunter 5 assts) d PERTH LYNX 71 (Edmondson, Hamblin 14, Mijovic 13, Lavey, Butler 11; Hamblin 10 rebs; Whitcomb, Lavey 5 assts) at Bendat Basketball Centre.