Sport Boomers bounce Lynx to reach WNBL decider

16:37  05 january  2018
16:37  05 january  2018 Source:   MSN

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Liz Cambage© AAP Image Liz Cambage

Melbourne Boomers have qualified for the WNBL grand final after upsetting the Perth Lynx 78-69 in Perth on Friday night to sweep their semi-final series.

Melbourne rode to victory on the back of star centre Liz Cambage as she scored 10 of her game-high 25 points in the fourth quarter to eliminate the minor premiers with a 2-0 series win.

Cambage added 15 rebounds and three blocks to her 25-point haul while guard Maddie Garrick made 4-of-7 three-pointers to finish with 18 points.

Jenna O'Hea compiled 12 points, six rebounds and five assists in another polished performance while Rebecca Cole added 10 points off the bench.

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Carly Wilson produced the goods at both ends of the court as defending champions Canberra advanced to a third straight WNBL grand final showdown against Bulleen with an 83-78 preliminary final win over Bendigo Spirit at AIS Arena.

The minor premiers led by five points after three quarters but could not fire in the closing minutes to be outscored 30-16 in the final term.

Perth's Courtney Williams caught fire in the second term and finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds but missed all nine shots in a scoreless fourth quarter.

Kayla Standish stood out for the Lynx with three triples in her 17 points while Sami Whitcomb added 15.

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Cambage and Garrick gave Melbourne a fast start but Williams' hot shooting inspired a 26-15 second quarter for the Lynx to take a five-point lead into halftime.

The two teams went toe-to-toe in the third quarter with honours even before Cambage came up big in the clutch to bring Perth's season to a disappointing end.

Cambage opened the match with nine of Melbourne's first 11 points and added two blocks as the visitors grabbed an early lead.

Whitcomb and Standish steadied the home side but Cambage completed an 11-point start with an offensive putback to end the first quarter with an 18-12 advantage.

Garrick nailed her second triple early in the second quarter and Cambage put the Boomers up by eight before Williams followed a Standish triple with four baskets as the Lynx reeled off 13 unanswered points.

O'Hea ended Perth's run with consecutive buckets and Garrick's third triple drew Melbourne level again but Williams closed out a 12-point quarter to send the Lynx into halftime ahead 38-33.

The Lynx extended their lead with two baskets to open the third term but the Boomers scored the next nine points to pull even again and Louella Tomlinson's jumper gave them a narrow lead.

Whitcomb and Williams put Perth up by five heading into the final quarter but the home side could not contain Cambage and the Boomers in the closing stages.

Melbourne now awaits the winner of the Sydney Uni-Townsville semi-final as they prepare to host game one of the grand final series on Saturday January 13.

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