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Four WNBA standouts from the first month of WNBL action

A quartet of players with WNBA experience—Aari McDonald, Mercedes Russell, Jordin Canada and Jade Melbourne—lead the WNBL in scoring so far this season.

WNBL Rd 4 - Perth Lynx v Townsville Fire
Playing for the Perth Lynx, the Atlanta Dream’s Aari McDonald has been one of the best players through the first month of WNBL action.
Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images

The Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL)—the professional women’s basketball league in Australia—began its season on Nov. 1. And over the past month, several WNBA players have stood out. In fact, the top four scorers in the WNBL are all WNBA players: Aari McDonald, Mercedes Russell, Jordin Canada and Jade Melbourne.

Aari McDonald (Perth Lynx)

Aari McDonald leads all scorers with 20.2 point per game for the Perth Lynx, which are 4-2 on the season. McDonald, an Atlanta Dream guard, is shooting 46.4 percent from the field and also averages 7.3 assists per game. She exploded for 35 points on 13-for-19 shooting on Nov. 17 in a win against Bendigo Spirit.

Mercedes Russell (Southside Flyers)

Seattle Storm center Mercedes Russell is averaging 18.5 points per game on 59.3 percent shooting and 10.5 rebounds per game for the Southside Flyers. The Flyers are 4-2 on the season. Russell, who was named WNBL Defensive Player of the Year in 2019-20, continues her strong defensive play. Russell had a season-high 17 rebounds against the Adelaide Lightning on Nov. 18. Most recently, she had a 21-point and 11-rebound double-double in a 81-64 win over UC Capitals.

Jordin Canada (Melbourne Boomers)

Los Angeles Sparks guard Jordin Canada is averaging 17.3 points on 41.8 percent shooting for the Melbourne Boomers. Canada also is averaging 8.7 assists and 5.3 rebounds per game. The Boomers are tied for the best record in the league at 5-1. She scored a season-high 26 points to go along with eight rebounds and seven assists in a two-point comeback win against Bendigo Spirit on Nov. 19.

Canada also matched up with McDonald in one of the most exciting showdowns of the WNBL season, finishing with 21 points, five rebounds, five assists and five steals as her Boomers fell short against McDonald’s Lynx.

Jade Melbourne (UC Capitals)

Seattle Storm guard Jada Melbourne is averaging 16.5 points per game for UC Capitals. Melbourne is shooting 45.3 percent from the field, and also averaging 8.8 assists and 3.7 rebounds per game. The Capitals, however, are 0-6 on the season. Melbourne exploded for a season-high 31 points, to go along with seven rebounds and seven assists in a five-point loss to the Sydney Flames on Nov. 15.

WNBL Standings Update

Below, the eight WNBL teams are listed according to record, alongside the recent WNBA players on their roster.

  1. Townsville Fire (5-1): Seattle Storm guard Sami Whitcomb
  2. Melbourne Boomers (5-1): Los Angeles Sparks guard Jordin Canada, Indiana Fever guard Kristy Wallace, Atlanta Dream forward Naz Hillmon,
  3. Southside Flyers (4-2): Dallas Wings guard Jasmine Dickey, Seattle Storm center Mercedes Russell
  4. Perth Lynx (4-2): Atlanta Dream guard Aari McDonald
  5. Sydney Uni Flames (2-3): Las Vegas Aces forward Cayla George, former New York Liberty forward Didi Richards
  6. Bendigo Spirit (2-4)
  7. Adelaide Lightning (2-5): New York Liberty guard Jocelyn Willoughby, Phoenix Mercury forward Brianna Turner, former Seattle Storm forward Stephanie Talbot
  8. 8. UC Capitals (0-6): Seattle Storm guard Jade Melbourne