Second quarter Lynx blitz crushes Bendigo’s Spirit
A REMARKABLE second quarter performance from Perth Lynx ultimately set up what would be a nail-biting four-point win over Bendigo Spirit. In what was highly anticipated as a much-watch game, the Lynx put up 34 points to 12 in 10 minutes of pure bliss for the visiting fans, and built an 18-point lead in the process. Though the Spirit would storm home in the final term with a massive 28 points to 12, it would be a case of too little, too late.
SECOND QUARTER STATS:
Points: +22 (Perth 34, Bendigo 12)
Assists: +4 (Perth 5, Bendigo 1)
Rebounds: +5 (Perth 14, Bendigo 9)
Steals: +5 (Perth 5, Bendigo 0)
Points In Paint: +8 (Perth 18, Bendigo 10)
Field Goal %: +26.7% (Perth 58.3, Bendigo 31.6)
HOW IT HAPPENED
After the scores stood at 26-22 at the first break, both sides seemed to be on in the opening minute, with Alicia Froling and Anneli Maley scoring for the Spirit, and Tayah Burrows and Sami Whitcomb answering for the Lynx. Over the next two minutes, the Spirit went 0/5 from the field compared to Perth’s 2/4 as Alex Sharp and then Whitcomb scored to tie the scores with 7:05 on the clock.
Megan McKay was subbed in for the Spirit and immediately had an impact for the Spirit, though failed to make good on the And-One chance, and her side were two points in front. Abigail Wehrung‘s driving layup at the 5:47 mark put it back out to four points, but the three-point play from Mackenzie Clinch Hoycard quickly cut it back to one. That was when everything went pear-shaped though.
The inclusion of shooters Amy Atwell and Robbi Ryan worked a treat, as both would drain three-pointers in the opening minute of their entrance, and it freed up Lauren Scherf to got to work. They piled on the next 10 points – making it 13 consecutive points with Clinch Hoycard‘s effort – before dual sportsperson Tessa Lavey answered with a jump shot.
Atwell continued to run hot as she would continue to tally up a massive 10 points, including the next five, while only a Maley pull up jumper would provide resistance to another 13-point run. In the second half of the quarter, the Spirit had scored 24-4 to end the term a massive 18 points in front. Outside of Atwell, Ryan (six points) would provide the spark alongside Whitcomb (seven), while Hoycard hit the five points. Maleys’ was the only Spirit player to score more than one basket in the term.
WHAT HAPPENED FROM THERE?
Unsurprisingly, Perth would go on to win, but in a far closer circumstance than once might have though. After extending the lead out to 20 points at the last change thanks to a tighter third term, the home side roared to life. Bendigo almost repeated Perth’s second quarter effort with a 28-12 performance, even drawing with two points off a Lavey jump shot with 33 seconds on the clock.
Froling had the chance to level the scores with a layup but could not finish, and though Atwell also missed a couple of free throws in the last 10 seconds, Scherf was able to rebound, get it to Whitcomb to cop the foul, and the experienced Whitcomb made both of her shots from the charity stripe to secure the 92-88 victory.
Perth will remain in the state over the weekend as the Lynx take on the Melbourne boomers at Melbourne Sports Centres from 3:30pm on Sunday. The Lynx return home next week with a two-game series at Bendat Basketball Centre against Townsville Fire on Wednesday and Saturday in what will be a quick turnaround between rounds, while Bendigo takes on the Boomers at Parkville next Sunday, February 5 from 3pm in what will be an extended break for the Spirit.