Friday’s match-up between MAC Adelaide Lightning and Dandenong Rangers was a tough encounter for both sides. The final score wasn’t indicative of how tight it was for the majority of the game with just a 4 point difference with five minutes to go but the Rangers slipped away in the final few minutes of the fourth quarter giving them a 79-63 win to take back to Dandenong.
Leilani Mitchell had another strong first quarter posting 16-points but solid defence for the rest of the game by the Rangers kept her to 21 points and 6 assists overall. The Rangers were also able to get on top of Mikaela Ruef and Kayla Standish keeping both players to just 3 and 4 points respectively.
Dandenong had good contributions from a number of players with four finishing with double-digits: Annalise Pickrel with 16 points, 9 rebounds; Stephanie Cumming with 20 points, 6 assists; Sara Blicavs with 16 points, 8 rebounds; and Lauren Scherf providing a handy 12 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists off the bench.
Lightning forward, Kelly Bowen who finished the game with 20 points, 7 rebounds, attributed the loss to the team not responding appropriately on offence to a switch in defence by Dandenong at half time when the Lightning were up by 4 points.
Head Coach Tracy York said “We had a strong and attacking start and this gave us a small advantage in the first quarter. We continued playing strongly in the second and took a four point lead into halftime.”
“Unfortunately we lacked offensive poise in the third and defensively broke down to start the fourth quarter with six points down. With two minutes to go and five points down, Kayla had fouled out and we also lost Leilani. The final two minutes were our worst as we didn’t score or could get stops so it was a disappointing finish as the game had been close for the majority.”
With a break in the WNBL season, the Lightning now have a few weeks until they meet the Rangers again in Dandenong on Friday, 22 January. The next home game is Friday, 29 January against Melbourne and there are just three home games left in the season.