27/02/2024

Aussies in the WNBA Weeks three and four. (Photos: @nyliberty, @WNBAStormChaser - Twitter)

Weeks three and four of the WNBA saw a lot of ups and downs for our Aussies, with another two waived by their teams. There was also plenty to celebrate with many celebrating career-highs.

Weeks three and four of the WNBA saw a lot of ups and downs for our Aussies, with another two waived by their teams. There was also plenty to celebrate with many celebrating career-highs.

Alanna Smith

Smith has played varied minutes over the past few weeks, including a career-high 21 minutes against Connecticut. Smith has been struggling with her shooting, only scoring four points in the game at 28 per cent, this is unusual as she is shooting at 47 per cent across the WNBL season.

Unfortunately for Smith, in the next game, she played just three minutes and her shooting was still off. The 25-year-old did manage three rebounds and one steal in her short time on the court.

Unfortunately, Smith’s contract with the Fever was waived on May 30th. In her nine games, Smith averaged 4.3 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 12.9 minutes per game.

Liz Cambage

In her first game back in Las Vegas since departing the Sparks, Cambage came out showing her former teammates the aggressive game that she is known for picking up two early fouls. From there on out, Cambage kept her composure and finished the game with just the two fouls, and scoring 10 points.

Defensively Cambage had four defensive rebounds and three blocks. It wasn’t the game that Cambage wouldn’t have been hoping for when she faced her old team.

Cambage then had a strong outing against the Phoenix Mercury, playing 31 mins. She shot eight from 13 from the field, scoring 21 points. Impressively she shot 100 per cent from the free-throw line and helped snap a five-game losing streak for the Sparks. The 30-year-old was all over the court with seven rebounds, five assists, and two steals.

With a short turnaround two days later, Cambage was back on the court, this time up against the Indiana Fever. In this match, Cambage was unsettled by the pressure and shot at just 18 per cent from the field.

The majority of her scoring came from free throws, ending the game with 13 points. Cambage worked hard rebounding and finished with five offensive and four defensive rebounds.

It was another tough day on the court for Cambage when the Los Angeles Sparks came up against the Minnesota Lynx. She improved her shooting from the previous game, shooting 60 per cent from the field and free-throw line.

Rebound wise it was a quiet game for Cambage who matched against up Lynx great Sylvia Fowles. Fowles kept Cambage to just three rebounds which were all on the defensive end and backed that up with two blocks.

With another short break between games, this time Cambage came out firing. It was one of her more impressive games of the year and helped the Sparks to get another close victory.

Offensively her game included making seven from 10 field goal attempts, backing it up on the free-throw line, and shooting five from six. The more impressive offensive stat from this game was six assists, this helped Cambage’s teammates make shots when she was unable to.

Defensively she was also huge, coming out with seven defensive rebounds and four blocked shots. Cambage was a vital part of the win.

The Sparks had a five-day break between their next match against Phoenix in an unusual move that saw the centre just play 13 minutes of game time. In true Cambage fashion, she was still very productive despite playing limited minutes, ending with eight points, six rebounds and two blocks.

Amy Atwell

Atwell didn’t get much playing some against the Las Vegas Aces, only playing five minutes off the bench, however, she hit the scoreboard for the first time. The shot was the trademark three-pointer from Atwell that saw her catch the eye of the Sparks organisation.

Unfortunately, Atwell has struggled through the start of the season and was waived by the Sparks before the start of week five.

Bec Allen

Allen bounced back from a quiet start to the season with a stronger performance in the game on May 24 against the Lynx. It wasn’t the best shooting performance but she still ended the game with a season-high 21 points. She added two assists, two steals, and a block in 33 minutes.

Aussie fans were all geared up for a showdown when the Liberty took on the Seattle Storm but COVID interrupted that with Steph Talbot and Ezi Magbegor sitting the games out. Game one saw Allen play 40 minutes in a well-rounded performance. Although she only wasn’t very efficient shooting the ball, shooting 25 per cent.

It was the defensive end where she made the biggest impact, grabbing seven defensive rebounds, a feat which she has achieved three times across her career. In the second game against the Storm, Allen shot at a better clip, shooting 50 per cent to come away with eight points.

The Liberty and Allen came out stronger when they faced the Fever. The 29-year-old’s shooting was consistent again, finishing the game with 17 points, shooting 50 per cent from the field. She also had five rebounds and two assists.

Against the Mystics, on June 3rd, Allen again was shooting at 50 per cent for her 11 points. The guard again defensively was huge, grabbing five rebounds and had two steals.

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Sami Whitcomb

Whitcomb was poor from the paint in the game against the Lynx, hitting just one shot from eleven attempts. However, she backed that up with a whopping nine assists, which is a career-high.

In the first game against the Storm, Whitcomb matched teammate Bec Allen’s performance. The 33-year-old struggled offensively with just eight points in 29 minutes but again backed that up with seven rebounds. The biggest highlight of the night was eight assists.

Whitcomb struggled offensively again in the second game against Seattle two days later, finishing with six points and three assists.

The game against the Fever was a low point for Whitcomb, playing just 17 minutes. She only attempted four shots and didn’t make any of them.

There was some improvement in the next game on June 3rd, it was a more rounded performance than the previous game. She finished the game against the Washington Mystics with nine points three rebounds, a steal, and a block. 

Kristy Wallace

Wallace is continuing her strong start from the first few weeks of the season. Against the Mystics, she had a career-high seven rebounds, backed up by eight points, and two assists. 

With a five-day break under her belt before taking on, the Mercury Wallace came out shining once again. Backing up her career-high rebounds, with a strong shooting display where she finished with a new career-high 17 points, shooting just shy of 47 per cent. The performance from Wallace was so strong, that she was named the Dream player of the day.

It was a career-high hat trick for Wallace when she came up faced off against the Lynx, she surpassed her previous career-high points by one to come away with 18 points. To make the stat even more impressive she shot 83 per cent from three-point range, hitting five of six attempts. She followed up with three rebounds and two steals.

The next two games were quieter for Wallace, the game against the Sky saw her hit a crucial three in the second quarter. She scored just five points in this game at just 22 per cent.

Scoring was low again for Wallace against the Fever where she had just six points. She added to the team offensively with three assists and supported defensively with three rebounds and two steals.

Ezi Magbegor

After a stint on the sidelines in the league’s COVID health and safety protocols, Magbegor was back in action for the Storm on June 5th against the Connecticut Sun. Playing 29 minutes, Magbegor was the leading scorer for the Storm with 19 points, shooting 61 per cent. Continuing the dominant performance she recorded seven rebounds, three assists, two steals, and three blocks. It was a truly impressive performance for someone who had returned from COVID issues.

Steph Talbot

Talbot has been out with COVID but was back on the court on June 3rd against the Dallas Wings. Easing her back into things, she played just 16 minutes and managed a rebound and a block.

Two days later against Connecticut, the 28-year-old played minutes and ended with five points. Her rebounding was better again, coming away with five boards and another two assists.

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