Aussies in the WNBA: Smith soars for Sky

THE WNBA action continued over the weekend with a fresh batch of games taking place in the biggest women’s basketball league in the world.

After building strongly over the first few weeks, Hobart native Alanna Smith delivered a standout performance in the Chicago Sky’s win over the Minnesota Lynx on the weekend.

The Sky headed to Target Center in Minneapolis on Saturday, with Smith gradually showing improvement over the first few weeks of the season. Having excelled at WNBL level over the past few years, she has earned an opportunity in the United States, and appears comfortable at that level.

Smith was one of her side’s best against the Lynx as Chicago claimed an 11-point win on the road to kickstart their season with a maiden win. The home side actually won three of four quarters, but it was a definitive second term which proved the difference. The Sky outscored the opposition 22-3 in that period, storming to a commanding lead and never surrendering their scoreboard advantage on their way to a 77-66 victory.

Smith was one of her side’s best, playing to her best with an innate shotmaking ability that came to the forefront against Minnesota.

The 26-year-old was perfect from the field, nailing all five of her attempts in a damaging performance. Although the defence caught on as the match continued, Smith’s ability to get hot early was crucial, and set the tone for the rest of the match.

She nailed two three-pointers from two long-range attempts, showcasing just how hot she was from the field, seemingly unfazed by the defensive closeout by the opposition. Smith’s success from behind the arc has proven to be a barometer for her performances in the past, and her excellence in this area against Minnesota further reflected that.

She finished with 15 points, which was the second-most of any Chicago player, with only Kahleah Copper recording more with 20. One of the most impressive parts of Smith’s performance was the fact that she did it in just 20 minutes of court time.

Smith also recorded four rebounds, one assist and a pair of steals in the win, showcasing the value of putting her on the court. It was an outstanding performance headlined by accuracy and natural talent.

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