The Melbourne Boomers put their early season woes behind them with an emphatic 68-53 road victory over the West Coast Waves on Saturday.
While early on it looked like Melbourne would be in for yet another close game, superstar shooting guard Tess Madgen put on a show to guide her team to a comfortable victory.
Madgen finished with 22 points at 62 per cent from the field, seven assists and five rebounds, while Bec Allen (14 points, 10 rebounds, 3 steals) and Bec Cole (11 points) were also strong contributors.
Melbourne’s big quartet of Natalie Burton, Olivia Thompson, Kelly Bowen and Shanae Greaves grabbed 25 rebounds between them as their team won the boards 46-27, including 14-6 on the offensive glass.
West Coast had a horror shooting night, shooting just six per cent from outside the arc and 30 per cent from the field overall.
“One-from-seventeen from the three-point line isn’t going to help you,” Waves coach Kennedy Kereama said.
“We got some good open looks and we just didn’t make them tonight, and I thought the people taking the shots were the right people.
“That hurt us big time and at the other end we gave up a lot of offensive rebounds to Melbourne, who just looked like they wanted it more.”
Deanna Smith was the Waves’ best with 13 points and eight boards, Darcee Garbin also adding 13 points and Louella Tomlinson 11 to go with three blocks.
Smith had a hot start to her 250th WNBL game, scoring eight points in just over two minutes, but in a tight first quarter it was the Boomers who emerged with a 17-14 lead.
The visitors put their foot down in the second term, Madgen on fire as she racked up 14 points and six assists for the half to power Melbourne to a 46-27 advantage heading into the changerooms.
Cole and Allen were also in the thick of the action, their active defence giving West Coast’s perimeter players plenty of trouble, and their team’s board work starving the hosts of opportunities.
The Boomers’ offence slowed in the third term, held to just 12 points, but their trademark defence was as stingy as ever to extend their lead to 21 after 30 minutes.
The result was never in doubt in the final term, Melbourne getting on the winners’ board for 2014/15 in impressive style, while West Coast were left searching for their exciting early-season form.
“We didn’t do the basic things well,” Kereama said.
“We had been doing (those) very well in the pre-season and the first game of the season, but for the last couple of games now it’s something we haven’t done a great job of.
“It’s something we need to lock in on over the next few games.”
Melbourne Boomers 68 (Madgen 22, Allen 14, Cole 11)
West Coast Waves 53 (Garbin 13, Smith 13, Tomlinson 11)
At Warwick Basketball Stadium, Perth
Article from WNBL.com.au
The Waves next game is on Friday 7 November against the reigning WNBL Champions, the Bendigo Spirit at the WA Basketball Centre.