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WNBL update: Sami Whitcomb, Townsville Fire are dominating at midseason mark

Seattle Storm guard Sami Whitcomb is leading the Townsville Fire to a top seed in the Australian WNBL, while her WNBA teammate, Jade Melbourne, leads all scorers.

WNBL Rd 10 - Townsville Fire v Perth Lynx
Sami Whitcomb celebrates draining a 3-pointer during the Townsville Fire’s win over the Perth Lynx.
Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images

We’re more than halfway through the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) season and several WNBA players have been enjoying outstanding seasons.

The Townsville Fire, led by Seattle Storm guard Sami Whitcomb, has been the best team in the league so far this season, holding an 11-3 record. Whitcomb is averaging 16.1 points per game, 5.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists, while shooting 40.2 percent from the field. She topped the Perth Lynx—her former squad—with a dominant 26-point performance on New Year’s Eve. She then led the Fire to a comeback win over the Lynx on Jan. 5 with an efficient 19-point outing, finishing 7-for-10 from the field.

The Melbourne Boomers, led by Los Angeles Sparks guard Jordin Canada, have also had a strong season (9-5) so far. As have the Perth Lynx (9-5), led by Atlanta Dream guard Aari McDonald. Canada is averaging 14.9 points per game on 38.2 percent shooting, while also leading the league with 8.1 assists per game. McDonald has been putting up 18.8 points per game and 5.9 assists on an efficient 46.1 percent from the field.

Jade Melbourne is leading the WNBL in scoring, averaging 19 points per game, but her UC Capitals team currently is last in the standings with a 3-9 record. Melbourne, a Seattle Storm guard, is shooting 43.4 percent from the field and 41.8 percent from 3, while also putting up 7.7 assists and 4.9 rebounds per game.

Other standout WNBA players include Brianna Turner, who is leading the WNBL in rebounding with 13.9 boards per game. The Phoenix Mercury forward is also averaging 6.9 points and 3.9 assists per game for the Adelaide Lightning, who are 4-11 this season. And just last week, Sydney Flames forward Cayla George rose to fourth on the all-time WNBL points list. She’s averaging 11 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 3.7 assists for the Flames, who are .500 this season (7-7).

Australian basketball legend Lauren Jackson, who won two championships with the Seattle Storm in her 12-year WNBA career, is still contributing to the Southside Flyers at age 42. She’s averaging 6.6 points and 4.8 rebounds in limited minutes for Southside. The Flyers have been led by Dallas Wings guard Jasmine Dickey and Seattle Storm center Mercedes Russell. Russell is averaging 16 points per game on league-best 54.7 percent shooting, while Dickey is averaging 7.6 points on 45.8 percent shooting. Former WNBA guard Leilani Mitchell also plays for Southside.

WNBL standings update

Thirteen current and recent WNBA players are playing professionally in Australia. Below, the eight WNBL teams are listed according to record, alongside the WNBA players on their roster.

  1. Townsville Fire (11-3): Seattle Storm guard Sami Whitcomb
  2. Melbourne Boomers (9-5): Los Angeles Sparks guard Jordin Canada, Indiana Fever guard Kristy Wallace, Atlanta Dream forward Naz Hillmon
  3. Perth Lynx (9-5): Atlanta Dream guard Aari McDonald
  4. Southside Flyers (7-6): Dallas Wings guard Jasmine Dickey, Seattle Storm center Mercedes Russell
  5. Sydney Uni Flames (7-7): Las Vegas Aces forward Cayla George
  6. Bendigo Spirit (4-8)
  7. Adelaide Lightning (4-11): New York Liberty guard Jocelyn Willoughby, Phoenix Mercury forward Brianna Turner, former Seattle Storm forward Stephanie Talbot
  8. UC Capitals (3-9): Seattle Storm guard Jade Melbourne

Remember, all WNBL games can be streamed for free through the WNBA app.