The Deakin Melbourne Boomers scored a vital 91-63 win in Canberra to start a tough fourth round that sees them returning home for a Cup Eve clash with reigning WNBL champions, Townsville Fire.
Determined to return to the winner’s list, and knowing Canberra would be confident following the arrival of star WNBA guard Renee Montgomery, the Boomers headed north on a mission.
Racing to an early lead, the Boomers closed out the opening quarter up 20-17, before holding sway during the second period to take a 37-27 advantage into the main break. A good sign for the visitors started to emerge during the opening half with a number of players hitting the scoreboard, while the defensive performance on Steph Talbot (opts) was outstanding.
Despite Canberra nailing a couple of early baskets in the third period to reduce the margin to just 5pts, the Boomers re-grouped and went on a blistering 22-1 run, a scorching performance at both ends of the floor that put the result beyond doubt.
Captain Tess Madgen led the way with 20pts, Maddie Garrick scored 17pts and Elyse Penaluna was dominant with a strong double-double, delivering 13pts and 14rbs, while Olivia Thompson added 12pts off the bench.
Excitingly, development player Chloe Molloy stepped onto the court and made her WNBL debut, holding her own and no doubt creating a memorable night for her family who had made the trip from Melbourne to see the game.
Deakin Melbourne Boomers 91 defeated Canberra 63
Melbourne: Tess Madgen (20pts, 5ast, 4 treys), Elyse Penaluna (13pts, 14rbs), Maddie Garrick (17pts, 8rbs, 3 treys), Olivia Thompson (12pts, 5rbs)
Canberra: Abby Bishop (21pts, 8rbs)