WNBL Round 5 review: Maley's star rises as Lynx upset Boomers

In five rounds, we've only seen two games that have gone to over-time and this week it was the game between the Adelaide Lightning and the Bendigo Spirit - two teams who are trying to break into the top four. We also saw an upset, where the Perth Lynx where redeemed after handing the Melbourne Boomers their first loss for the season.

Stand out performance - Anneli Maley, Perth Lynx

Known for her prowess under the ring, Perth's Anneli Maley took advantage of some space on the three-point line in her game against the Melbourne Boomers. She made the most of it, nailing one three, and then another and so on. With four threes for the game, she was named 'Player of the Match' as she recorded 17 points and 17 rebounds - leading her team to the win.

The three ball has not been a strength of Maley's in the past, however, it seems when she's feeling confident there's no limit to what she's capable of in every section of the court. As always, she maintained her title as a rebounding machine. This is a feat should not be overlooked, no matter how accustomed we are to seeing it. Her rebounds provide not only herself but also her teammates the opportunity for second chance points, not to mention she can secure the ball on defence.

Most exciting game - Adelaide Lightning vs. Bendigo Spirit

Neither of these teams have had the start to the season they were likely wanting but have shown great promise in recent rounds and proven that their team's talent can compete with the rest of the competition. It was a relatively tight contest throughout the game, but in the third quarter the Bendigo Spirit started to pull away and the experience of the team started to shine through.

Ally Wilson was having a game for herself, earning 'Player of the Match', she was instrumental to her team getting over the line. She brought plenty of energy and hit shots when her team needed to, including a huge bank three in over-time. You could argue that shot was the nail in the coffin, as the Adelaide Lightning looked unsettled and pressure to score after Wilson's big make.

It was an impressive effort from the Lightning to get to over-time, but they will be left disappointed in not finishing the game off with a win. Their downfall appears to be the lack of offensive structure down the stretch, often relying solely on Issy Borlase to create. Despite Borlase's impressive skillset, it is a predictable game plan.

Surprise of the round - Perth Lynx defeating Melbourne Boomers

After losing their undefeated status last round, it was unclear whether the Lynx would bounce back or lose their mojo altogether. The latter wasn't an option for the Lynx, instead they chose to bounce back in style by knocking off the only undefeated team left, the Boomers. As to be expected, it was a very close game and point guard imports Jordin Canada and Aari McDonald's match up lived up to the hype. Going head-to-head, neither player was willing to back down and this led to an exciting contest.

The rest of the game was played in similar fashion, neither team let the margin grow, that was until halfway through the fourth quarter when the Lynx drew away. It was the spark of Anneli Maley that got them ahead in the end, but thanks to the likes of Miela Goodchild early on and the deadly combo of McDonald and Emily Potter, the Boomers just couldn't regain their momentum. The Lynx made a statement, beating the top team by 17 points.


Townsville Lightning defeated Adelaide Lightning 67-61

Southside Flyers defeated UC Capitals 81-64

Adelaide Lightning defeated by Bendigo Spirit 65-70

Melbourne Boomers defeated by Perth Lynx 63-80

Sydney Flames - BYE