Griffin heroics keep Bendigo top of WNBL

December 10, 2022 09:46 PM AEDT | By AAPNEWS
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Ageless superstar Kelsey Griffin has put on a clinic at both ends to keep Bendigo Spirit's unbeaten start to the WNBL season intact, defeating in-form Adelaide Lightning 84-75 in Mildura.

The Lightning were chasing a fourth successive win but had no answer for Spirit's mighty captain Griffin (30 points, 10 rebounds, six steals) as the competition pacesetters moved to 6-0.

On Thursday, the legendary Lauren Jackson returned after missing last weekend's double-header with illness to pilot Southside Flyers to an 83-74 victory over Perth Lynx at the Bendat Basketball Centre.

Jackson, a four-time league MVP and four-time Olympian, amassed 25 points and 12 rebounds, proving too much for Lynx who were without injured captain Sami Whitcomb.

Jackson missed Saturday's encounter with Townsville at the State Basketball Centre, which the Fire won 82-79 after almost squandering a 10-point lead inside the last three minutes.

Three missed shots and two ball-handling turnovers were followed by a shot-clock violation with 18 seconds to go as the visitors saw their lead slashed to just three points.

But the Fire were reprieved when a pair of three-point attempts to force overtime by Bec Cole and Nyadiew Puoch missed their mark.

The nail-biting result ensured Townsville returned home from their Victorian road double with a 1-1 split after they frittered away a 14-point third-quarter lead on Wednesday to be mowed down by the Melbourne Boomers 84-78.

The Boomers conceded a whopping 29 turnovers - star duo Cayla George and Tiffany Mitchell the worst offenders with eight apiece - but their blistering shooting (59 per cent from the floor, 61 per cent from downtown) kept them in the game.

Mitchell sparked a 14-0 fightback after halftime which turned the match her side's way and ultimately meant Melbourne moved ahead of Townsville into second spot.

On Saturday afternoon, the Sydney Flames broke their season duck with a 92-80 triumph over the Canberra Capitals at the National Convention Centre.

Co-captain Keely Froling (22 points, 16 rebounds) and gun point guard Shyla Heal (21 points, six assists) starred in the battle of the two winless outfits, breathing life into Sydney's campaign and compounding Canberra's woes.

Round six tips off on Wednesday with the unbeaten Spirit hosting the Flames at Bendigo Stadium.


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