A go-ahead basket by Kalani Purcell, with 27 seconds left on the clock, helped propel Melbourne Boomers to an exciting 79-75 home win against Townsville Fire in the latest round of the Australian Women’s National Basketball League.
In a re-match of last season’s Grand Final Purcell pulled down an astonishing 15 rebounds (8 off the offensive glass) as Melbourne recorded a fourth straight win and moved to second on the WNBL ladder with a 7-3 record. The Tall Ferns forward added 9 points, 4 assists and 2 steals in a typical all-action display.
Tall Ferns teammate Micaela Cocks was also in fine form, top scoring for the defending champions with 19 points at a highly efficient 8 from 11 shooting. However the loss means that, a third of the way through the season, the Fire sit outside the top four with 3 wins and 5 losses.
Two earlier clashes in the round also pitched mate versus mate, Tall Fern against Tall Fern.
Adelaide Lightning, with Penina Davidson nabbing 6 points, led by as many as 10 points against Townsville but eventually succumbed 79-77 on their home court. Stella Beck came off the bench for the Fire contributing 3 assists and a pair of rebounds. Also for Townsville Cocks chipped in with 5 points, 3 rebounds and a trio of dimes.
Prior to the win against Townsville Melbourne had travelled west and completed a comprehensive 89-69 victory over league leaders Perth Lynx. It was just the second loss of the season for Perth (6-2) who got 9 points, 4 rebounds and 3 steals from captain Toni Farnworth. Purcell put up more big numbers amassing 6 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, a steal and a block.
The next edition of mate v mate will be on Sunday when Penina and Adelaide visit Kalani and Melbourne.