Samuelson superb in double OT win

WEDNESDAY NIGHT saw the Townsville Fire claim their eighth consecutive win in the WNBL, taking down the ladder-leading Melbourne Boomers 101-96 in a double-overtime thriller at Townsville Entertainment Centre.

Although Townsville came into the match on Fire, the Boomers have been the best side in the competition all season long. The contest lived up to the hype, needing two extra periods to determine a winner. In the end, it was the home side that got the win, in a deserving result given how many times they led throughout the match, having held an 11-point lead at one stage.

The standout performer for the match was clearly Karlie Samuelson, who torched the Boomers with an immense offensive outing. The forward lit it up from behind the arc and had some massive baskets down the stretch to help seal the triumph.

Lauren Nicholson and Karlie Samuelson in action for the Fire. Photo: Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images

Townsville Fire (101) def. Melbourne Boomers (96)

Karlie Samuelson – 31 points, four rebounds, two assists, two steals

With the attention surrounding the likes of Tianna Hawkins and Steph Reid, Samuelson flies under the radar at times. However, she certainly stamped her authority on Melbourne with a blistering scoring show.

Her 31 points were the most of anyone in the match, and had a massive say in the result of the match, given the timeliness of some of her makes.

The biggest factor in her significant points total was her shooting from long range. Samuelson shot a ridiculous 7/10 from downtown, finding herself open around the perimeter and making the defence pay. The import has shown shooting capabilities in the past, but her performance against the Boomers was next level.

Working hard around the arc to get open, Samuelson looked extremely confident in her shot, unfazed by any coverage presented by Melbourne’s defence. The forward also hit the most important shot of the game, giving the Fire the lead in double overtime, in what would be a match-winning advantage.

Samuelson shot the lights out in a crucial match for Townsville, who showed the power of a championship side. The Fire needed someone to step up and match the scoring prowess of Melbourne, and Samuelson more than covered that area.

Her shooting from behind the arc was a constantly lingering presence whenever the Boomers looked to make a run. Combining well with the passing of Reid, Samuelson was a flamethrower from downtown, and will continue to find herself open as the Fire make a run towards the championship.

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