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WNBL Rd.15 Wrap: Spirit on the rocks

THE Spirit is on the rocks but no-one in Bendigo is celebrating as its injury-hit WNBL team departs the final four, possibly finally.

Gabe Richards’ 250th game wasn’t any celebration in Townsville where 300-plus gamer Suzy Batkovic paired 28 points with 14 rebounds as the Fire dominated the paint and won by 20.

Backing up in Canberra against the surging Capitals, Bendigo stumbled 63-77 as Rio Olympian Marianna Tolo again exposed them down the middle with 28 points, nine rebounds and blocking five shots.

Adelaide’s recent resurgence with two road wins and a last-gasp loss to Sydney unravelled as Steph Cumming kept on coming and Sara Blicavs kept on blitzing in an emphatic 85-58 Dandenong rout.

The Rangers exposed all of Lightning’s shortcomings, forcing them back into the turnover, second-guessing doldrums as they opened with a 10-0 run and never looked back.

Asia Taylor had a stunning 32-point, nine-rebound, four-assist return as Sydney produced a 24-12 final quarter to shut down Perth 90-78.

It was evenly poised with a period to play but Leilani Mitchell was a mini-monster with 17 points, 11 assists, five boards and four steals while Jennifer Hamson blocked five shots while changing a lot of others.

Carley Mijovic led the Lynx with 22 points, Ruth Hamblin added 14 but the Flames succeeded in reducing Sami Whitcomb’s impact, which was a huge key to the victory.

Whitcomb bounced back with 25 points against Melbourne as Perth salvaged a road split with an 87-79 escape from the Boomers’ clutches.

Maddie Garrick continued her good form with 21 points as Melbourne switched its attention to this week’s Australia Day eve clash against crosstown rival Dandenong.

BOOM! Carley Mijovic hits the floor, slightly cushioned. Pic courtesy Michelle Couling


Rd 15 Results

TOWNSVILLE FIRE 87 (Batkovic 28, Murray 18, Garbin, Standish 10; Batkovic 14 rebs; Cloud 7 assts) d BENDIGO SPIRIT 67 (Raincock-Ekunwe 15, Dietrick 14, Griffin 13; Raincock-Ekunwe 7 rebs; Karaitiana, Payne 3 assts) at The Fire Station, Townsville Stadium.
DANDENONG RANGERS 85 (Cumming 22, Blicavs 20, Scherf 11, Clydesdale 10; Kennedy 7 rebs; Blicavs 4 assts) d ADELAIDE LIGHTNING 58 (Elsworthy 11, Roberts 10; Hodges 7 rebs; Ciabattoni 5 assts) at The Lighthouse, Titanium Security Arena.
SYDNEY UNI FLAMES 90 (Taylor 32, Mitchell 17, Tupaea, Hamson 10; taylor 9 rebs; Mitchell 11 assts) d PERTH LYNX 78 (Mijovic 22, Hamblin 14, Edmondson 11, Whitcomb, Butler 10; Hamblin 9 rebs; Lavey 8 assts) at The Campus, Brydens Stadium.
CANBERRA CAPITALS 77 (Tolo 28, Mansfield 19; Tolo 9 rebs; Mansfield 6 assts) d BENDIGO SPIRIT 63 (Griffin 20, Raincock-Ekunwe 13, Payne 10; Payne 8 rebs; Griffin 3 assts) at The Alphabet Soup, Southern Cross Stadium.
PERTH LYNX 87 (Whitcomb 25, Hamblin 17, Mijovic 14, Butler 10; Hamblin 10 rebs; Lavey, Whitcomb 5 assts) d MELBOURNE BOOMERS 79 (Garrick 21, Smart 10; Thompson 7 rebs; 3 with 4 assts) at The Roo Bar, State Basketball Centre.

Jan 22

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