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Coffey strikes gold in Bendigo

MAC ADELAIDE Lightning continued their WNBL season of revival - and survival - by drowning the Spirit 92-81 in overtime last night in Bendigo, Nia Coffey with a season-high 37-point haul.

Coffey, one of the leading MVP candidates and an All Star Five certainty, also had 12 rebounds, four assists and blocked two shots en route to her career-high 37 points.

The versatile WNBA forward had eight points in overtime as Adelaide turned back a deficit which blew out as far as 15 points in the first half and was still nine (59-68) into the final quarter.

And it was Coffey, with three seconds left on the clock in regulation, who tied the game at 76-76 to force the extension.

Nicole Seekamp stole the ball on Bendigo's last possession and for the third time this season, the Spirit were forced into overtime at home after leading into the death throes of regulation.

But just as it lost those previous overtime matches to Townsville and Melbourne, Bendigo had nothing left in the extension, Coffey's three-point play to push Adelaide 79-76 in front the start of a 13-0 run sweeping Lightning 89-76 ahead and to their 12th win of the season.

While Coffey was a colossus, Seekamp and Steph Blicavs also came up big. Seekamp may only have grabbed two rebounds, but she still went close to a triple-double with 11 points, nine assists and seven steals!

Blicavs had 16 points on 71 percent shooting and was 4-of-6 from beyond the 3-point arc.

She also had four assists, Kayla Alexander with a 10-point, 11-rebound double-double.

Nadeen Payne continued her excellent personal season with 21 points for Bendigo, Abbey Wehrung and Louella Tomlinson also among the points and Nat Hurst whipping eight assists with seven boards and seven points.

IN PERTH, the Lynx beating Melbourne 74-60 behind the efforts of another MVP candidate in Asia Taylor (29 points, eight rebounds, two assists, a steal) turned tomorrow's match in Adelaide between the Lightning and Boomers into a key fixture in sorting Final Four placings behind Canberra (13-5).

The loss moved Melbourne's record to 13-6, Perth's to 13-7, while Adelaide is on 12-7.

It means if Lightning reverse two controversial away losses to Melbourne, all three teams will be on 13-7 win-loss records. That also would make next week's last match of the regular season between Perth and Adelaide critical.

WNBL Round 14
(Coffey 37, Blicavs 16, Seekamp 11, Alexander 10; Coffey 12 rebs; Seekamp 9 assts) d BENDIGO BANK SPIRIT 81 (Payne 21, Wehrung 16, Tomlinson 14, Whittle 12; Tobin 10 rebs; Hurst 8 assts) at The Goldmine, Bendigo Stadium.
PERTH LYNX 74 (Taylor 29, Schwagmeyer 14, Ebzery 11; Taylor 8 rebs; Mansfield, McPhee 5 assts) d DEAKIN MELBOURNE BOOMERS 60 (Magbegor 16, O’Hea 12, Garrick 10; O’Hea 8 rebs; Talbot 4 assts) at The Enclosure, Bendat Stadium.

Jan 11

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