Touring American college outfit Auburn University are licking their wounds this morning after BDS Logan Thunder upset the visitors 86-54 in the opening match of their Australian tour.
Logan powered past their US opponents in a thrilling exhibition match at NAB Stadium, despite fielding a side comprised of both academy and WNBL players that had never previously played together.
Logan were never really challenged in the match and maintained the lead throughout, building a comfortable 42-25 lead by half-time and extending the buffer to 32 at the final siren.
Bundaberg's Hayley Munro top scored for Logan with 18 points and was well supported by Thunder regular Holly Smith, who collected 13 points and Gold Coast’s Carine Reimink who had 12.
Veteran Kristen Veal led the side with 12 assists while newcomer Alice Honnery pulled down 10 rebounds.
The Thunder shot 44 per cent from the field, sunk eight 3-pointers and had 50 points from the bench to help them secure the win.
Auburn in comparison struggled to find the basket and shoot at 32 per cent from the floor and failed to fire from beyond the arc, but to their credit continued to fight throughout the match.
“Some of the girls hadn’t even seen each other until they met in the change room before the match, so taking that into consideration it was an extremely good effort from the girl,” Academy Director and Coach Tony Stephen’s said after the triumph.
“The mix of the WNBL players and the academy players worked really well.
“It was interesting for us to see the players we had names on paper for from the two different Academy camps play together in the same game.
“Giving them the opportunity to play with others of their own calibre made a big difference and they really stepped up and showed what they are capable of.
“Auburn were a bit depleted tonight with several of their players out injured.
“They are quality on paper and are in the process of rebuilding their programme ahead of their upcoming NCAA season.”
Hasina Muhammad had a game-high 24 points to go with four assists and three steals for the Alabama-based side, but her individual brilliance wasn’t enough, even with Blanche Alverson’s 10 point contribution.
Although the Logan outfit isn’t the side that will suit up for the South-East Queensland team for their fifth season in the WNBL, the match was an opportunity for the club’s coaching staff to see the talent the region has to offer.
Logan will begin their 2012/13 WNBL campaign on October 6 against Townsville Fire in Townsville. Auburn will continue its Australian Tour on August 10 as the Tigers take on the Cairns Dolphins in Cairns.