Aussie youngster shines in tough loss at top level

WITH the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) in the midst of its 2024 season in the United States, some talented Australians such as Jade Melbourne are showcasing their talent in the best female competition in the world.

After being traded to the Washington Mystics from the Seattle Storm, Melbourne has been coming off the bench for her side and showing glimpses of excellence in limited court time. However, she put it all together with an eye-catching performance on Monday.

Her Mystics came up against the New York Liberty in a big matchup, with Washington looking to secure its first win of the season after a slow start to the fixture. The Liberty are one of the stronger sides so far this season with a record of 11 wins and two losses, and it would have been a serious upset if the Mystics could conjure a victory.

Although the Mystics made it tougher than New York would have liked, the Liberty held on for a five-point win to prevent the disaster boilover from taking place.

Washington would not have stood a chance if not for the career-best performance from Melbourne, who was electric off the bench and added another dimension to the team’s offence.

Washington Mystics (88) def. by New York Liberty (93)

Jade Melbourne – 21 points, one rebound, one assist

Already highly touted in Australia, Melbourne put her name in lights with a magnificent offensive showing against the Liberty on Monday.

In just 14 minutes of action, the young guard was superb off the bench, exploding for 21 points on 8/12 shooting from the field and 3/6 from behind the arc. She did not need much court time to catch the eye, proving one of the most damaging performers for Washington and keeping the team in the match with some much-needed baskets.

She had the perfect start to her court time, splashing home a 24-foot three-pointer in the first possession she was in the game for to close out the opening term, in a big basket to keep her side within one-point at the first change.

After starting the second term on the bench again, Melbourne re-entered the game in the first few minutes of the period, and again got involved with some quick scoring plays, this time a bit closer to the basket. She hit two buckets in quick succession, but could not hit the scoreboard any further with the defence realising how dangerous she could be and paid much more attention.

The third term was another solid patch of play for the Aussie, rejoining the action with two minutes on the clock. Firstly, she found herself in space under the basket to finish an easy lay-up, before knocking down a triple and setting up another to inject some life into her team and make it a close game heading into the last.

The fourth and final period was Melbourne’s most productive, starting the term in style by scoring seven consecutive points for the Mystics before heading to the bench in place of the starters. With the game on the line, Washington brought her in with just minutes remaining, and she repaid the faith by bringing the team within one point with a clutch lay-up. After New York answered down the other end, Melbourne was given the responsibility to knock down the tying triple, but her shot bounced out and the Liberty held on to win.

It was a big time showing from Australia’s brightest young female basketballer, who earned herself more court time with an excellent showing.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments