The highly anticipated matchup between Suzy Batkovic-Brown’s Sydney Uni Acuvue Flames and Lauren Jackson’s Canberra TransAct Capitals needed an extra session to decide a winner. After Batkovic-Brown missed the potential winning shot at the end of regulation, Jackson put Canberra ahead for a good by knocking down a three-pointer with 18 seconds left to play. Canberra got a stop and went on to complete the 81-78 victory, pulling even with Sydney in the loss column and just a half-game back in the race for second place in the WNBL.
The two stars held each other well below their lofty averages. Jackson had 25 points and 13 rebounds, making 11 free throws in 13 attempts. Baktovic-Brown was held to 10 points, her lowest scoring output of the season after eight consecutive games with 20-plus points. She added six rebounds and four steals. See a photo gallery and video highlights from the game.
The Flames did get a win from their trip to the capitol, crushing AIS 87-51 on Friday night. In that game, Batkovic-Brown had 20 points and seven boards in just 22 minutes of play before calling it a night and preparing to face Canberra on the second half of a back-to-back set.
Sunday was the final of the Cup of Russia and a showdown between rivals UMMC Ekaterinburg and Spartak Moscow Region, the first meeting of the two sides since Spartak got Sue Bird back in the lineup and Ekaterinburg added Candace Parker. It took the full 40 minutes to decide things. With five seconds left and Ekaterinburg up three, Bird was fouled. She intentionally missed the second shot and got her own rebound, but could not connect at the buzzer to force OT as Spartak fell 77-75.
Bird scored 24 points, tying Diana Taurasi for game-high honors and making five three-pointers, and grabbed nine rebounds. Parker led Ekaterinburg with 23 points. Spartak reached the final by beating Vologda-Chevakata 102-72 in Saturday’s semifinal. Bird had 10 points and three assists in 19 minutes of action.
An odd game for Swin Cash’s Guangdong Asia Aluminum team. Guangdong trailed by 14 at the half before outscoring Yunnan 47-17 in the final 20 minutes to win going away, 80-64. Cash led all scorers with 19 points, knocking down a pair of three-pointers and seven free throws. She added six rebounds and three assists.
Liomatic Umbertide lost at home to Lavezzini Parma 61-52. Chelsea Newton, who played the full 40 minutes, scored six points and grabbed three boards.
Both teams with Storm ties in the Polish PLKK scored victories over the weekend. Lotos Gdynia remained atop the league with a 63-47 win over UTEX Row Rybnik on Friday. Tanisha Wright contributed 11 points, five assists and four rebounds for Gdynia. Wisla Can-Pack toppled AZS Poznan 84-65 behind 14 points, seven rebounds and four assists from Janell Burse.