Fast-starting Boomers feast on Lynx

A MAGNIFICENT start to the game saw the Melbourne Boomers claim a 14-point win over the Perth Lynx at the Melbourne Sports Centre in Parkville on Wednesday night, kicking off Round 13 of the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL)’s 2023/24 season.

The Boomers came into the game fresh off a tough loss to their cross-town rivals on Sunday afternoon, and had dropped to third spot as a result of that game. Looking to solidify a top-two finish, Wednesday’s clash would be crucial for Melbourne’s chances of locking in a home final in the coming weeks.

Similarly, it was an important game for the Lynx, who entered the clash outside the top four, and needing to storm home if they were to book a finals spot. After 12 rounds, Perth had a record of nine wins and eight losses, and would need to perform above that if it was to upset the Boomers.

The Lynx could not get that task done, as the Boomers emerged 90-76 victors to kick off the week’s action in style.

Melbourne Boomers (90) def. Perth Lynx (76)

The home side could not have dreamt of a better start, completely outplaying the Lynx and storming out to a commanding lead on the scoreboard, which eventually proved match-defining.

Remarkably, the Boomers jumped out to a 23-2 buffer on the scoreboard, with Perth unable to find the bottom of the net. Melbourne was clinical in the opening minutes of the game, stamping its championship credentials to lead 33-9 at the first change.

Although it was always going to be a big ask for the visitors after digging themselves such a hole in the first period, it was a largely improved effort after quarter-time. The second term saw the Lynx outscore Melbourne 32-18 as the shots finally started to fall, and as such, Perth only trailed by 10 points at the main break.

The story to open the second half was similar to that of the first, as Melbourne flexed its muscles with a 17-4 run to start the third term. Perth’s lapses once again cost the visitors, and the deficit was stretched out to 20 points at three-quarter time.

It was such a lead that even when Melbourne took the foot off the gas in the final period, the Boomers were still in complete control of the match. In the end, it was a statement performance from the hosts, who showed they belong in the championship conversation.

It was a team performance from the victors, with all five starters scoring 11 points or more, and four of those registering 16+ points. Leading the way was dual-sport gun Monique Conti, who had a game-high 19 points on 7/14 shooting, while Jordin Canada (17 points, seven assists), Keely Froling (16 points) and Naz Hillmon (15 points) all cashed in.

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