Newcastle’s Katie Ebzery may be right in the mix of the Women’s National Basketball League playoffs, but if Perth Lynx slip against the UC Capitals on Thursday evening their season’s campaign will be snuffed out.
Ebzery and the Lynx couldn’t withstand a three-point flurry from the Canberra combo of Kia Nurse and Leilani Mitchel last Friday evening in the best-of-three series’ opening match, and slipped to a 0-1 deficit off the back of the 76-95 loss.
The disappointment from the opening defeat is still heavy in the air in the Lynx camp, but Newcastle’s leading lady in the WNBL believes they can erase the mistakes of the past if they focus in on their problems.
“We just let ourselves down in that third quarter,” Perth guard Ebzery told ESPN after the 19-point loss. “It’s been a little bit of a trend and that’s something that we will look at, work on and hopefully be better at in the second game.”
According to Lynx coach Andy Stewart however, the team played strong defence and was only overcome by the “shooting exhibition” that Nurse and Mitchell put on display.
“The shooting exhibition [from both women] was quite outstanding, and even a couple of times especially with Nurse, we played pretty good D, and she was still knocking down shots,” Stewart said. “We got some reasonable looks, but they hit everything.”
Brittany McPhee was the bright spark for the Lynx, scoring a team-high 25 points off 11-16 shooting, to go along with her eight rebounds.
The second game of the semi-final series – and potentially Perth’s last outing in the 2018/19 season if they can’t rise to Canberra’s new level – will be held at Lynx’s home stadium on Thursday evening. If Perth are victorious a third match will be played on Sunday.