Anita Brown’s clutch performance lifts Magic women over Cockburn | photos, video

Star point guard Anita Brown conjured a timely three-point play with just 34 seconds remaining to keep the Mandurah Magic’s unbeaten start to the 2018 Women’s State Basketball League season alive with a win over Cockburn at home on Friday night.

With scores tied at 68 and just 47 seconds left on the clock, the Magic looked to their standout import and Brown came up big.

The Magic’s leading scorer floated into the lane for a crucial two points to give the Magic the lead, and the drew the foul on the play.

Brown missed the initial free-throw that would have put the Magic up three, but she was given another chance to extend the lead when a Cockburn player crossed the line prematurely.

She didn’t disappoint on her second attempt, giving Mandurah enough breathing space to ride out the ensuing free-throw battle for a 73-69 win.

A frustrating start hampered the Magic in the early goings, as a number of players picked up fouls next to their names and shots refused to fall.

Cockburn’s defence was solid across the opening half, and the Cougars dared to dream of an upset when they took a three-point lead into half time.

Emma Klasztorny finished the night with 14 rebounds. Photo: Justin Rake.

Emma Klasztorny finished the night with 14 rebounds. Photo: Justin Rake.

But captain Rachel Halleen got the ball rolling for the Magic early in the second half, knocking down a quick seven points as Mandurah burst out to a handy lead.

Brown also pitched in with seven throughout the period to help Mandurah claw back to a five-point advantage at three-quarter-time.

It was a battle in the fourth quarter, as Cockburn’s Kisha Lee dominated to keep her team in the game.

Lee scored 11 of her game-high 34 points in the fourth, but it was Brown who came through with the winning play for Mandurah in the final minute.

Last round’s player of the week award winner, Brown put her hand up for the honour once again with a dominant 30 points and 12 rebounds leading the Magic to their fifth straight win.

Bree Klasztorny was a force in the paint with a 12-point, 11-rebound double-double, while sister Emma gathered 14 rebounds to go with her four points.

Casey Mihovilovich (12 points) and Halleen (11) both finished in double figures.

The Magic return to the court looking for win number six tonight, hitting the road to take on Stirling.