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Boomers lower boom on wayward Lightning

UNABLE to convert free throws in a first quarter where Adelaide had Melbourne on the ropes, Lightning ultimately paid the price after halftime when foul woes opened the door for a 71-57 Boomers romp.

Adelaide raced from the blocks to lead throughout the first quarter but could not sustain the  scoreboard pressure it deserved as Lauren Nicholson, Steph Talbot, Brianna Turner and Jennie Rintala all wasted free throw opportunities to build a bigger buffer.

It meant Lightning enjoyed a meagre 17-14 lead at the first break despite forcing five turnovers  and playing harassing defence that saw the Boomers collectively shooting at 25 percent (5-of-20).

Playing the style of attacking basketball which last round turned Bendigo inside-out, Lightning pulled 31-22 clear in the second quarter but again could not deliver a killer blow, much of its shooting wayward.

Star Boomers import Lindsay Allen (20 points, five assists) scored her first basket at 6:36 in the second quarter and had seven by halftime, at which point Melbourne had ground the deficit back to four at 35-31.

The victim of several unlikely foul calls - are they still calling flops in the WNBL? Asking for a friend - Nicole Seekamp (above) lasted less than three minutes of the third period before copping her fourth and exiting yet again.

As ugly a third quarter as you might ever hope not to see, Melbourne outscored Adelaide 14-9 and it wasn't so much great defence by either side as much as excruciating shooting.

Lightning were 3-of-18 from the floor, Melbourne 4-of-18, the Boomers' ability to make free throws a huge key in tying the score at 43-43 before nudging 45-44 ahead with a period to play.

Former Lightning forward Penina Davidson and Allen played big roles in pulling Melbourne away and when Turner fouled out with a second under 7:00 minutes to play - she was hit with two fouls in the space of three minutes -  Adelaide was in trouble.

Turner left with a 10-point, 14-rebound double, and three blocks, though Ezi Magbegor twice rejecting Lightning's star WNBA recruit did influence her offensive focus.

Magbegor finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds as Melbourne raced away in the final quarter.

Seekamp's insertion led to several nifty baskets by the Lightning skipper to give the fans at Titanium Security Arena some measure of hope but it was ill-founded. She finished with 15 points on 6-of-11.

Magbegor had nine last-quarter points and Allen seven, the duo outscoring Adelaide which only mustered 13 in the last to Melbourne's 26.

Other than Turner (50 percent) and Chelsea Brook (10 points at 50 percent but only one shot for a miss in the last), Adelaide's usually reliable scorers had lamentable nights.

Talbot scored seven points on 2-of-14 shooting - plus nine boards, three assists, two steals and no lack of effort - Natalie Hurst was a curiously reluctant shooter for 0-of-4, Nicholson 2-of-8 and Jennie Rintala 2-of-12.

Lightning shot at 30 percent and were 11-of-21 from the free throw line to the Boomers' 15-of-18.

As for the 3-point shooting of both teams - the less said the better.

MELBOURNE BOOMERS 71 (Allen 20, George, Magbegor 13, Davidson 11; Magbegor 11 rebs; Allen 5 assts) d ADELAIDE LIGHTNING 57 (Seekamp 15, Turner, Brook 10; Turner 14 rebs; Nicholson 5 assts) at The Lighthouse, Titanium Security Arena.

Pics courtesy of WANDERING LION MEDIA.

Nov 22

Content, unless otherwise indicated, is © copyright Boti Nagy.