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Oct.27-Nov.3: White outs New Zealand

TERRICO White delivered the dagger for the second time this season as Perth escaped New Zealand unscathed, while Sara Blicavs produced a 16-point last quarter to pull Southside away from Bendigo.

The Flyers (5-0) now will take on Melbourne (4-0) tomorrow in the annual WNBL Melbourne Cup Eve game, the first of the Michele Timms Cup contests for the season and a Victorian derby to determine who stays unbeaten and at the head of the ladder.

White, who already has shot a game-winner this season against Melbourne United, broke Kiwi hearts in Invercargill with the 3-pointer that smashed a 79-79 deadlock and ensured the Wildcats got out of the round with a 1-1 split.

THE round opened in Auckland where the Breakers put a stop to Cairns' giant-killing ways before in Brisbane, the Bullets showed a measure of what they still could be by stopping Perth, both games wrapped up here.

THE second THROWDOWN in Melbourne went United's way before the 36ers squandered a chance to beat Sydney in regulation in Adelaide before failing in overtime. That all went down here.

LOOKING to go 2-of-2 for the round, the Breakers led by as many as 10 points in Invercargill over the defending champs Perth, Bryce Cotton struggling from the floor. Brandon Ashley continued to make the most of his opportunities with 21 points at 69 percent, and five rebounds, and Corey Webster is having a career season. Not only did he hit 21 points, but also dished a further six assists, grabbed six boards and even blocked a shot. Webster's three tied the game at 79-79 before White nailed his fourth and final three for the night. Dario Hunt had his best game as a Wildcat, scoring 21 points at 67 percent and 11 rebounds. Considering Cotton had four points on 2-of-13 shooting, it was an even more remarkable Wildcats victory. 

ILLAWARRA took its home game against Brisbane down to Canberra but the result was much the same as the Hawks have been experiencing everywhere already, Brisbane a comfortable 83-69 winner having led by as many as 22 points. On the plus side for the Hawks, LaMelo Ball led the team in every important statistical category, with a career-best 19 points, nine rebounds, five assists and three steals. Brisbane's Jason Cadee followed his sparkling performance against Perth up with 16 points including four 3-pointers, Nathan Sobey with 18 points and four triples. World Cup Boomers guard Cam Gliddon came off the bench playing 16:18 and continuing his slump with one point.

(Webster 23, Hampton 18, Ashley 14; Ashley 11 rebs; Webster 8 assts) d CAIRNS TAIPANS 85 (Oliver 23, Deng 18, Noi 16, Newbill 15, Machado 11; Newbill, Deng 7 rebs; Machado 10 assts) at The Breakwater, Spark Arena. Crowd: 7,943
BRISBANE BULLETS 87 (Cadee 17, Patterson 16, Braun 12, Singler 10; Patterson, Sobey 7 rebs; Cadee 5 assts) d PERTH WILDCATS 78 (White 23, Cotton 15, Steindl 11; Kay 9 rebs; Martin 4 assts) at The Armoury, Nissan Arena. Crowd: 2,857
MELBOURNE UNITED 110 (Long 31, Goulding 24, McCarron, Trimble 13; Long 12 rebs; McCarron 5 assts) d SOUTH EAST MELBOURNE PHOENIX 98 (Creek 23, Roberson, Madgen 16, Benson 12; Crockett 8 rebs; Creek 7 assts) at the UN, Melbourne Arena. Crowd: 6,745
SYDNEY KINGS 98 (Bogut 18, Louzada 17, Tate 16, Newley 15, Ware 14; Bogut 12 rebs; Tate 5 assts) d ADELAIDE 36ERS 96 (Randle 23, Moore 18, Johnson 17, Drmic 11, Griffin, Froling 10; Drmic 15 rebs; Randle 4 assts) in overtime {86-86} at Adelaide Entertainment Centre. Crowd: 8,252
PERTH WILDCATS 84 (Hunt 21, White 18, Kay 13, Steindl 10; Hunt 11 rebs; Cotton 8 assts) d NEW ZEALAND BREAKERS 79 (Ashley, Webster 21, Henry 11; Hampton 8 rebs; Webster 6 assts) at Invercargill. Crowd: 2,054
BRISBANE BULLETS 83 (Sobey 18, Cadee 16, Hodgson 15, Patterson 11; Hodgson 9 rebs; Patterson 7 assts) d ILLAWARRA HAWKS 69 (Ball 19, Blanchfield 10; Ball 9 rebs; Ball 5 assts) in Canberra, Crowd: 3,808
TOMORROW: Melbourne United v Sydney Kings

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BENDIGO tipped off Round 4 with a strong performance at home against Adelaide, reviewed in full here.

ARIEL Atkins immediately showed her value in her WNBL debut with Perth, and not by compiling 19 points, seven rebounds and four assists against Townsville. It was her bucket to close regulation which saved the Lynx after Micaela Cocks had stuck a 3-pointer for an 80-78 Fire lead. Atkins tied it up to send Perth into its third overtime match of the season. Sadly for Lynx fans, it went the same way as overtime losses to Southside and Adelaide, Townsville emerging victorious behind Abby Bishop's 31-point, 11-rebound, 4-assists input. Cocks, with 22 points at 75 percent, 4-of-5 threes, five rebounds, five assists, three steals also was huge as Townsville broke its win drought. 

AFTER last week's two road shocks, back home in the comforts of Canberra, the champion Caps needed to make a statement against Sydney. The Flames lowered Canberra's colours last round and came in still feeling good about themselves, leading 26-22 after one. Canberra hit back with a demoralisng 24-10 second period and from there, the Capitals were on their way to a 91-66 success, leading by as many as 29 points. With coach Paul Goriss altering his starting five, Keely Froling came in off the bench for 19 points at 61 percent, seven boards, three assists, a steal and two blocks. Olivia Epoupa had a double-double with 12 points (6-of-7), 10 assists and a tidy eight assists. So close!

ABBEY Wehrung sank a 3-point bomb 1:12 out from three-quarter time and giant-killing Bendigo had a shock 61-60 lead over Southside at The Hangar. But ever-cool Aimie Clydesdale ran down the clock on the last possession, sinking a big triple of her own, the Flyers back ahead 63-61. Sara Blicavs and Mercedes Russell quickly bumped that to 67-61 when the last quarter was underway and an 8-0 run soon after made the 12-point buffer too much for the Spirit to haul back. Bec Cole (23 points at 56 percent), Blicavs (21 at 50 with a game-changing 16 in the final period), Russell with a 12-point, 15-rebound double, plus three blocks and Leilani Mitchell (16 points, six assists) were the architects of Southside's fifth straight win.

(Wehrung 16, Tobin 12, Skinner 11; Tobin 12 rebs; Wilson 7 assts) d ADELAIDE LIGHTNING 54 (Turner 21, Talbot 13, Nicholson 11; Turner 12 rebs; Seekamp 7 assts) at The Spirit Leveller, Bendigo Stadium.
UNIVERSITY of CANBERRA CAPITALS 91 (Nurse 21, Froling, Griffin 19, Epoupa 12, Rocci 10; Tolo 9 rebs; Epoupa 10 assts) d SYDNEY UNI FLAMES 66 (Kunek 17, Kuster 16; Scherf 9 rebs; Scherf, Wilson 4 assts) at The Alphabet Soup, AIS Training Hall.
JCU TOWNSVILLE FIRE 93 (Bishop 31, Cocks 22, Madgen 14; Bishop 11 rebs; Cocks, Madgen 5 assts) d PERTH LYNX 88 (Schwagmeyer-Belger 23, Atkins 19, Ebzery 14, Whittle 13; Atkins 7 rebs; Ebzery 9 assts) in overtime {80-80} at The Enclosure, Bendat Stadium.
SOUTHSIDE FLYERS 93 (Cole 23, Blicavs 21, Mitchell 16, Russell, O’Hea 12; Russell 15 rebs; Mitchell 6 assts) d BENDIGO SPIRIT 80 (Tobin 16, Wilson 15, Wehrung 13; Tobin, Ernst 6 rebs; Wilson 7 assts) at The Hangar, Dandenong Stadium.
TOMORROW: Melbourne Boomers v Southside Flyers

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OK then. If you're up for some light reading, here's what you may have missed this week:

SA's most successful women's basketball club and one of the sport's great Aussie clubs generally, North Adelaide Rockets, made a transformative move this past week.

It sure was a head turner of a WNBL Player of the Week performance.

The Orangemen made United see red in their NBL showdown.

No, it wasn't easy picking Cotton for NBL Player of the Week.

Brad Rosen and I went in search of podcast success here.

Some folks found our NBL & WNBL rankings a little rank.

And here's some news Brad Rosen broke on our podcast the previous week, with Deshon Taylor joining Sydney.

When it comes to the round's best tips, you may find them here

GOING, GOING, GONE: Canberra superstar Kelsey Griffin loses her footing. 

Nov 3

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