Prolific shooter Jhaniele Fowler set a new Super Netball record for points in a match as the West Coast Fever defeated a fast-finishing NSW Swifts 80-71.
Records tumbled at Nissan Arena on Saturday as the Fever withstood an unprecedented long-range shooting barrage from the defending champions to extend their unbeaten run to six games.
Having set the record with 66 points against the Adelaide Thunderbirds in 2018, Fowler eclipsed her own high mark with 70 points at almost 96 per cent accuracy as the Fever moved ahead of the Swifts into second spot on the ladder.
“No, I wasn’t aware of that – that’s really cool,” Fowler said after her record-breaking performance. “The girls feed a lot of balls in so I had to score them.”
Fowler’s dominance under the post was a major factor in West Coast building a 17-point advantage late in the third quarter but Sam Wallace and Sophie Garbin combined to hit seven Suncorp Super Shots in the last five minutes to give the Swifts a glimmer of hope.
The reigning champs then cut West Coast’s lead to four by scoring eight of the first 10 points in the fourth quarter but
Fowler stood tall when it counted to secure the win, NSW ending the match with 15 Super Shots.
With a semi-final berth all but secured, the Fever will seek a top-two finish as they close the regular season against GIANTS Netball and Adelaide Thunderbirds.
With star attacker Helen Housby sidelined after suffering a concussion in Tuesday’s Round 11 loss to the Melbourne Vixens, the Swifts’ makeshift lineup struggled in the opening quarter as the Fever jumped out to a 10 point advantage.
Three Super Shots from Wallace kept NSW in the hunt but despite an even second period, the Fever went into halftime ahead 39-31 with Fowler helping herself to 36 points from 37 attempts.
NSW were hoping that their second-half surge would be reminiscent of their stunning comeback win over the Fever in round two when Garbin fuelled a 27-11 third-quarter charge in the Swifts’ one-goal victory.
But the Swifts had no answer for Fowler and will need to bounce back against the Adelaide Thunderbirds on Saturday to stay in the top-two race.
Q1: Fever 23 v Swifts 15
Q2: Fever 16 v Swifts 16
Q3: Fever 22 v Swifts 20
Q4: Fever 19 v Swifts 20
Nissan Player of The Match – Jhaniele Fowler (West Coast Fever)
Fever shooting statistics
Jhaniele Fowler: Total points – 70 G1 68/11 (96%) G2 1/1 (100%)
Alice Teague-Neeld: Total points – 10 G1 2/4 (50%) G2 4/6 (67%)
Swifts shooting statistics
Sophie Garbin: Total points – 23 G1 13/18 (72%) G2 5/10 (50%)
Nat Haythornthwaite: Total points – 3 G1 3/4 (75%) G2 0/0 (0%)
Sam Wallace: Total points – 45 G1 25/25 (100%) G2 10/15 (67%)
Fever starting seven: GS – Jhaniele Fowler GA – Alice Teague-Neeld WA – Emma Cosh C – Verity Charles WD – Jess Anstiss GD – Stacey Francis GK – Courtney Bruce
Swifts starting seven: GS – Sophie Garbin GA – Nat Haythornthwaite WA – Maddy Proud C – Paige Hadley WD – Sophie Craig GD – Sarah Klau GK – Lauren Moore