Phoenix Mercury will carry valuable confidence into tomorrow’s second round WNBA playoff according to one of their stars with strong Australian links.
By
Megan Hustwaite

17 Sep 2020 - 1:36 PM  UPDATED 24 Sep 2020 - 4:47 PM

A Shey Peddy buzzer-beater gave the Mercury a come-from-behind victory over Washington Mystics in this week’s elimination final and Brianna Turner says her team is now well-placed ahead of its second-round clash with Minnesota Lynx.

Turner, 24, played for the Adelaide Lightning last summer and produced a dominant campaign which saw her finish runner-up in the WNBL MVP award.

The Mercury v Lynx game tips offs a massive double header LIVE and FREE on SBS VICELAND and SBS On Demand at 9am (AEST), before Connecticut Sun vs Los Angeles Sparks at 11am (AEST).

“The word fight describes our team really well. We’ve been so resilient; we’ve of course had some bumps along the road this season, but we’ve just kept pushing through and gone with the flow," Turner told SBS Sport.

“That win was great for our energy. We didn’t come out how we wanted to against Washington so we know, tomorrow against Minnesota, we’re going to have to come out a lot stronger. We can’t play or start that way again and expect to come back again in the fourth quarter.”

The 191cm power forward is enjoying a purple patch of form, ranked fourth in the league for rebounds (9ppg), and has stepped up in the absence of Brittney Griner who left the WNBA bubble for personal reasons.

How to watch WNBA LIVE on SBS
The WNBA is set to take centre court on Australian screens this season - with a host of games LIVE, FREE and in HD on SBS VICELAND and SBS On Demand.

“I feel like every day I’m trying to learn something new. It’s been really awesome playing with D (Diana Taurasi), we didn’t really play together last season because she was hurt a little bit and then obviously playing with Skylar Diggins-Smith has been really amazing too,’’ Turner said.

“They’re just such great leaders, competitors and it’s a really great feeling playing with them every single day.

“With BG gone you can’t replace 6’8. I try to do what I can and discourage people from coming into the lane and always having a hand up when the shot goes up, get position rebound.”

Turner believes her 2019-20 season in the WNBL helped fast-track her game. She thrived with the responsibility an import must shoulder.

“Having a season in Australia and playing under Chris Lucas for Adelaide Lightning really helped my game a lot. The WNBL is super competitive, every weekend we were playing tough teams and that definitely helped my game. I was glad I was able to go and play there,’’ she said.

“There’s an Australian flavour in the WNBA, with Sandy Brondello and Alanna Smith here at Phoenix. It feels like every other game I come up against someone from WNBL, tomorrow it’s Bridget Carleton (Townsville Fire) for Minnesota. There’s Kia Nurse for New York, Ezi Magebegor and Mercedes Russell from Seattle and Leilani Mitchell (Washington).”

This week and next, we’ve got WNBA playoff and semi-final action - screened LIVE, FREE and in HD on SBS VICELAND and SBS On Demand.

Friday September 18

9:00am-11:00am AEST

Playoffs - Phoenix Mercury v Minnesota Lynx

Friday September 18

11:00am-1:00pm AEST

Playoffs - Connecticut Sun v Los Angeles Sparks

Friday September 25

9:30am–11:30am AEST

Semi-Final Game 2 - Minnesota Lynx v Seattle Storm

Friday September 25

11:30am–1:30pm AEST

Semi-Final Game 3 - Connecticut Sun v Las Vegas Aces

Monday September 28

3:00am–5:00am AEST

Semi-Final Game 4 - Connecticut Sun v Las Vegas Aces