West Coast Fever have broken their own record for the highest Super Netball score in their 86-77 victory over the Giants at Perth Arena.
- West Coast Fever goal shooter Jhaniele Fowler scored 68 points
- The Fever consolidated second on the Super Netball ladder
- The Fever’s lead stretched to 18 points in the final term
The previous points record of 82 — held jointly by the Fever and Giants — fell by the wayside in Sunday’s second-versus-third shootout, thanks chiefly to the world’s best shooter, Jhaniele Fowler.
The Giants defence had no answers for the towering Jamaican who contributed 68 of the Fever’s points, shooting at 99 per cent.
Her efforts helped the Fever bounce back from the disappointment of Tuesday’s home loss to the Melbourne Vixens and consolidate a top-two spot while giving coach Dan Ryan a birthday to remember.
“This was a tough one where we knew we had to come out and execute the gameplan well,” Fowler said.
“We did for most of the game.
Fowler put Fever’s nose in front 23-21 at the end of an exciting, free-flowing opening term, with Giants captain Jo Harten making life difficult for West Coast skipper Courtney Bruce at the other end.
The home side tightened up on defence and stretched their lead in the second term, while Fowler continued to keep the scoreboard motoring.
The pattern of the match was established — Fowler unstoppable for first 10 minutes of each term and then Harten (nine super shots) doing her best to limit the damage across the last five in reply.
Down 46-37 at half-time, the turnovers mounted in the third term for the Giants who fell behind by 13 at the final change.
With the verdict seemingly beyond doubt, the primary point of interest in the fourth stanza centred on when the Fever would break the scoring record — and by how much.
Their lead swelled to 18 when Fowler equalled the 82-goal milestone with 5:42 to play but a rare scoreless drought of over three minutes meant there was a long wait for number 83, appropriately netted by Fowler.
A flurry of Harten super shots added some respectability to the scoreboard for the Giants, before Fowler finished things with a rare two-pointer in the last second.
Adelaide Thunderbirds beat the flu, and Collingwood
In the late game, a severely-depleted Adelaide Thunderbirds side moved into third spot after notching a courageous 58-53 victory over Collingwood Magpies at Melbourne’s State Netball Centre.
The Thunderbirds’s victory was all the more remarkable considering they went into Sunday’s match in sixth place and without three of their regular starters due to influenza.
Skipper Hannah Petty and sharpshooter Lenize Potgieter were ruled out on Saturday, while vice-captain Maisie Nankivell was withdrawn hours before the game.
Despite the tumultuous backdrop, Adelaide — who leapfrogged past Queensland Firebirds, NSW Swifts and the Giants — rallied thanks to a gutsy all-court performance.
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