Lightning strikes late to defeat Lynx

AFTER an extra month of preseason, Perth Lynx finally got out on the court against Adelaide Lightning in one of the games of the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) season. Unfortunately for the visitors they were unable to get across the line at The Lights, but pushed the Lightning all the way. Leading at each of the breaks, the Lynx fell short of the mark after a powerful 24-17 final term saw Adelaide storm late to win the match, 88-86.

  • Team
  • Adelaide 36ers
  • Perth Wildcats

We take a look at something different in wrapping up the nail-biter by noting down some of the key points from the match.


1 Marina Mabrey is going to be a problem from beyond the arc

The Perth Lynx guard was absolutely outstanding on debut, piling on 30 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals in the narrow loss. Most impressively was her long-range shooting, nailing seven triples in 35 minutes. Mabrey scored almost half of her team’s triples (15), and most impressively recorded a 53 per cent clip from that area of the court. From inside the arc she was not able to put up as many shots (3/11 at 27 per cent), but was hard to beat throughout the game.

2 Alanna Smith comes up clutch

It was a nail-biting game capped off by a thrilling finish. Picking up the offensive rebound with scores level at 86-apiece in the dying seconds, Smith was fouled on the second chance points attempt. Smith was sent to the line where under pressure with the match on the line, calmly nailed both her free throws and effectively won her side the game. It was only the second time she went to the line, but her shooting throughout the day was absolutely outstanding. She shot at 62 percent from the field (10 of 16), and collected a double-double of 25 points and 11 rebounds, as well as seven assists and three blocks in a dominant performance.

3 Perth needs to make more of its opportunities

The Lynx had far more chances, but were far less efficient from the field. The visitors put up 79 shots to 69, but had five less makes (31-36). The predominant difference was from inside the arc, where the Lynx managed to put up just 34 per cent of the shots, compared to the Lightning;’s 53 per cent. The Lynx could be pleased with both their second chance points (16-6) and points from turnovers (20-8), as well as having far less turnovers (14-22). It was a promising first game because the Lynx did not have it all their own way, but led by as much as 15 points early in the third term.

4 Give Adelaide an inch and the Lightning will strike

The counterpoint to the Lynx not making the most of their opportunities is the fact that the Lightning did. Managing more than 50 per cent from the field including three-point range, the home team played a calculated game. When Perth could not put the Lightning away, they struck and came back not just once, but twice. It would have been easy to throw in the towel when they were 15 points down, but they clawed their way back, to hit the front for the first time in the last quarter. Even though they conceded the lead and fell six points down again, fired late to lead by five points in the dying stages. The Lynx levelled the scores, but then Smith came up big to win the match.

5 If the Lightning clean up their ball use, watch out

Despite having 10 less shots from the field and going to the line five less times, the Lightning made the most of their chances. But outside the shooting stats, Adelaide dominated the rebounds with a plus-nine (45-36), and a plus-11 in assists (29-18). The reason they found themselves so far behind is the fact that the Lightning turned the ball over 22 times to 14, and committed 13 fouls to 10. Reducing the turnovers would have restricted Perth’s ability to score in transition. Aside from Smith, a further four players recorded double-figure points, two had double-doubles and almost triple-doubles.


The combination of Alanna Smith (25 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists and three blocks) and Stephanie Talbot (19 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists and two steals) both managed double-doubles and almost triple-doubles. Kylee Shook (12 points, five rebounds) and Chelsea Brook (14 points, two rebounds) also came up big with scoring, and critically all four shot at greater than 50 per cent from the field. For the Lynx, Marina Mabrey (30 points, five rebounds, four assists and two assists) was the star, whilst Lauren Scherf (10 points, 10 rebounds, three steals and two blocks) picked up a double-double. Sami Whitcomb (13 points, seven assists, three rebounds and three steals) and Darcee Garbin (15 points, three steals and two rebounds) also impressed in their first games of the season.

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