Two-time All-WNBL team member and 2021/22 Rachael Sporn medal winner Lindsay Allen

During the 2021/22 Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) season American point guard Lindsay Allen returned to Australia to play her third season with the Deakin Melbourne Boomers. Throughout 2021/22 Allen delivered her best performances for the Boomers when the stakes were at their highest, all three games that Allen scored at least 24 points were games where LA helped the Boomers swing momentum to record victories against finalists, with two of these games being in the finals.

At the Boomers in 2021/22 Allen was joined by her Indiana Fever teammate Tiffany Mitchell. In game 1 of the 2021/22 WNBL Grand Final series the Melbourne Boomers at home were comprehensively outplayed and defeated 98-71 by a Perth Lynx team featuring two of Allen’s former Notre Dame University teammates in Jackie Young and Marina Mabrey.

In the first half of game 2 on the road at Bendat Basketball Centre Perth Lynx started in similar high-scoring fashion to score 28 points in the first quarter and led by three points at quarter-time. Allen was phenomenal in the first half to score 19 points, including a buzzer beating three pointer on half-time to give the Boomers a 42-39 point lead. Melbourne went on to win a thrilling game 2 on the road 76-75 with Allen scoring a team-high 29 points, taking seven rebounds and making six assists in a brilliant all-round game.

On their home court at Melbourne Sports Centres Parkville in game 3 of the Grand Final series on Saturday 9 April the Melbourne Boomers dominated to defeat Perth Lynx 84-66 and won the club’s second WNBL Championship. During the three game Grand Final series Allen averaged 18.7 points and 5.0 assists per game and was recognised for her exceptional Grand Final series by winning the Rachael Sporn medal as Grand Final Most Valuable Player.

Allen played high school basketball for St John’s College and performed a pivotal role in her team winning the 2013 Washington Catholic Athletic Conference Championship (WCCC). At the 2012 FIBA Under 17 World Championships held in Amsterdam Allen started all eight games for the United States of America. It was a highly successful tournament from a team and individual perspective with the USA winning the gold medal and Allen being ranked first overall at the tournament for assists and assist to turnover ratio.

In a decorated college career with Notre Dame University in Indiana Allen was the starting point guard for all 149 games to set a record for career starts. Notre Dame won the Atlantic Coast Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament in Allen’s four seasons at Notre Dame, LA was selected in the All-ACC Tournament First-Team in 2016 and 2017 and was named the Most Valuable Player in 2017. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish advanced to the last 16 teams in all four NCAA Division 1 Women’s Basketball Tournaments during Allen’s career including making it to the championship game in 2013/14 and 2014/15.

At the 2017 WNBA Draft Allen was selected with pick 14 by the New York Liberty. Allen has played four WNBA seasons, for the New York Liberty in 2017, the Las Vegas Aces in 2018 and 2020 and for the Indiana Fever in 2021. Allen missed the 2019 season due to a knee injury and was part of the Aces team that progressed to the WNBA finals in 2020. During the 2021 WNBA season with Indiana Fever Allen “Finished second in the WNBA in assist-to-turnover ratio at 3.1 behind only Sue Bird.”1 Next week Allen commences her fifth WNBA season overall and second with Indiana Fever on 6 May with a road game against the Washington Mystics.

In her first two WNBL seasons with the Deakin Melbourne Boomers in 2018/19 and 2019/20 Allen  impressed with her scoring and passing ability, composure, shooting accuracy and the ability to make a big play when the Boomers needed it the most. Across these two seasons with the Boomers Allen was named in the WNBL’s Team of the Week nine times and named the league’s Player of the Week three times which highlights the outstanding level of performance that LA consistently delivered for the Deakin Melbourne Boomers. In Allen’s first season with the Boomers in 2018/19 she won the Michele Timms Medal as the Melbourne Boomers Most Valuable Player (MVP), was selected in the WNBL All-Star five and finished third in the league’s MVP Award.

Imports weren’t eligible to play in the WNBL during the 2020 WNBL season due to COVID-19 and international travel restrictions in Australia. Women With Drive host and Deakin Melbourne Boomers teammate Lou Brown asked Allen in an interview on 2 September 2021 “What is one thing you are most looking forward to coming back to play in Melbourne?” Allen responded “I think for me it is just the Australian lifestyle that I really enjoyed. With the Boomers, the people in the club and my teammates, the coaching staff, Guy, Riss and Flynnie, I missed during the year that I wasn’t there so I realised that I wanted to go back and experience it again and see where it takes me.” 

During the 2021/22 WNBL season Allen ranked in the league’s top 10 for assists per game, minutes played and free-throws made to earn All-WNBL team selection for the second time of her career, being selected in the All-WNBL second team.

Lindsay Allen’s junior career, college career and professional basketball career is covered in more detail below.

Early life and junior career

Lindsay Allen was born on 20 March 1995 in Clinton, Maryland in the United States of America, her parents are Lorna and Terrell Allen III, she is the youngest of three siblings, having an older sister Taylor and an older brother Terrell IV. Lindsay and Terrell III were highly competitive with each other playing basketball at home after school whilst Taylor’s main sport was volleyball.

Lindsay grew up in Bowie, Maryland which is approximately 27 kilometres from Washington, DC. In Women With Drive episode 8 on 2 September 2021 Allen told Boomers teammate and WWD host Lou Brown about growing up in Bowie “We kind of got the best of both worlds in being about 30 minutes from the city but also just kind of living in the suburbs and having that be a part of my upbringing.”

During Allen’s four seasons playing High School basketball at St John’s College in Washington, DC

the basketball team had an impressive record of 110 wins and 16 losses. In Allen’s senior year St John’s had a record of 27 wins and one loss. In the 2013 Washington Catholic Athletic Conference Championship (WCCC) game Allen scored a game-high 28 points including making all 16 free-throw attempts in a thrilling 67-66 victory against Our Lady of Good Counsel – the only team that defeated St John’s in 2013. During four seasons at St John’s Allen averaged 12.6 points, 5.2 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game.

In February 2013 St John’s girls basketball coach Jonathan Scribner commented to The Washington Post on Allen “I’ve never been around a person, much less a player or a kid, that has the approach that she has. She is just unbelievably focussed and committed to getting better. In practice, she does every single drill like it’s the last one of her career.”2

Allen was a member of the United States of America team that won a gold medal at the 2012 FIBA Under 17 World Championships held in Amsterdam, Netherlands in August. In the USA’s 75-62 victory against Spain in the gold medal game Allen scored an equal team-high 13 points, made all three of her three-pointers, took five rebounds, made a game-high six assists and had an equal game-high three steals. At the 2012 FIBA Under 17 World Championships Allen started all eight games for USA, had 4.1 assists per game and an assist to turnover ratio of 2.4 to 1 to be ranked first overall at the tournament in both categories. Two of Allen’s USA teammates from that tournament played as imports in the WNBL during 2019/20 – Brianna Turner for the Adelaide Lightning and Mercedes Russell for the Southside Flyers.

College career with Notre Dame from 2013/14 to 2016/17

During her college career Allen played four seasons from 2013/14 to 2016/17 for Notre Dame University in Indiana and was coached by Muffet McGraw. In all four seasons the Notre Dame Fighting Irish won the Atlantic Coast Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament which qualified them for the NCAA Division 1 Women’s Basketball Tournament. A player from Notre Dame won the ACC tournament Most Valuable Player Award in all four of Allen’s college seasons with Jewell Loyd winning the MVP in 2014 and 2015 followed by Madison Cable in 2016 and Allen in 2017. Allen was selected in the All-ACC Tournament First-Team in 2016 and 2017.

Allen was extremely durable and didn’t miss a college game in four seasons, being the starting point guard in all 149 games for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish who had a phenomenal record of 139 wins and 10 losses. Notre Dame made the Final Four of the NCAA Division 1 Women’s Basketball Tournament in 2013/14 and 2014/15, in both seasons losing the National Championship game to the University of Connecticut. Notre Dame progressed to the Sweet 16 in 2015/16 and the Elite 8 in 2016/17. 

In late March 2017 Notre Dame’s head coach, McGraw commented on Allen’s college career, telling espn.com “Even as a freshman, she had such poise, and she was surrounded by veterans who really helped her kind of ease her way into the college game. She just didn’t make any mistakes. She did what she was capable of doing. This year, she’s such a leader for us. We’re a little bit out of sync when she’s not in the game, just because she directs us. She directs what we’re doing defensively, what we’re going to get in offensively. We try to keep it really simple when she’s not in the game. She does everything for us. She is our MVP.”3 Allen’s Notre Dame teammates in 2016/17 included Arike Ogunbowale, Brianna Turner, Kathryn Westbeld and two players that joined Allen as imports in the WNBL for the 2021/22 season – Marina Mabrey and Jackie Young who both played for the Perth Lynx.

In four seasons for Notre Dame University Allen averaged 8.9 points, 3.7 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 1.3 steals per game with a field goal accuracy of 50.4%. During her college career with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish Allen set records for career assists (841) and career starts (149) as well as single season assists with 282 in 2016/17 and single season minutes played with 1,279 in 2016/17. In 2015/16 and 2016/17 Allen won Notre Dame’s Monogram Club’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award, in 2016/17 LA also received the media’s Woody Miller Player of the Year award.

WNBA Career from 2017 to 2019

At the 2017 WNBA draft on 13 April Allen was selected early in the second round at pick 14 overall by New York Liberty who were coached by Bill Laimbeer. In her debut WNBA season Allen had at least four assists in a game six times including a season-high five assists against Minnesota in a road game on 25 July.

After the 2017 WNBA season Laimbeer left the Liberty and was appointed as the Head Coach and President of Basketball Operations for the Las Vegas Aces. On 18 May 2018 Allen was waived by New York. Allen was quickly signed by the Las Vegas Aces and was coached by Laimbeer for the second consecutive season. In the Aces 2018 season opener on the road against Connecticut Sun on 20 May Allen made the first start of her WNBA career just two days after being cut by New York. In her first WNBA start Allen scored six points, had five rebounds and five assists for the Aces.

In late May 2018 Laimbeer commented on Allen “She understands how to manage a team. She’s smart, so she knows where to be position-wise. She works hard on defense. Just the whole package.”4

In seven of Allen’s first 10 games for the Aces in 2018 she had at least four assists including a season-high eight assists in a road game against Chicago on 3 June. On 8 June 2018 in a home game against Atlanta Allen scored nine points, made seven assists and had four steals. As the season progressed Allen’s playing opportunities diminished, only playing more than 10 minutes in a game twice in 12 games after 18 June.

In the off-season leading up to the 2019 WNBA season Allen had surgery on her knee. It was announced on 5 May 2019 that Allen would miss the entire 2019 WNBA season due to her knee injury. Las Vegas Aces General Manager Dan Padover commented “Lindsay provided the Aces with some much-needed stability and depth in the backcourt last season. We are going to miss her contributions both on the court and in the locker room this year, but we look forward to welcoming her back to the Aces in 2020.”5

Allen wins the Deakin Melbourne Boomers 2018/19 club MVP Award and is selected in the WNBL All-Star five

During 2018/19 Allen played in Australia as an import in the WNBL for the Deakin Melbourne Boomers and was their starting point guard. In the Boomers opening game of the season against Bendigo LA was joined in the starting line-up by four members of the Australian senior women’s basketball team – the Opals in Jenna O’Hea, Cayla George, Ezi Magbegor and Steph Talbot. Other members of the Boomers core rotation included Australian 3×3 player Maddie Garrick, New Zealand Tall Ferns member Kalani Purcell, point guard Monique Conti and American import centre Sarah Boothe. Guy Molloy was in his sixth season as Melbourne Boomers head coach and was also the New Zealand Tall Ferns coach. Paul Flynn was in his second season as a Boomers assistant coach.

In Melbourne’s first game of Round 5 at home on Thursday night 8 November against the Sydney Uni Flames Allen scored 16 points and had five assists. Against Townsville at Townsville Stadium on Sunday 11 November Allen played a critical role in the Boomers recording a victory, scoring 29 points including 13 in the fourth quarter, had six assists and three steals. Lindsay had a field goal accuracy of 71% and made four of her six three-pointers which contributed to her being named the WNBL’s Player of the Week for Round 5.

Allen continued her blistering form in Round 6 to be dominant in the back-court and named the WNBL’s Player of the Week for the second week in a row, having 26 points, five rebounds and five assists against the Perth Lynx in a 20 point road victory followed by 21 points, seven rebounds, six assists and two steals in a home win against Townsville. Allen was recognised for her outstanding play during November by being named the WNBL’s Player of the Month after averaging 19.8 points, shooting at 53% from the field, 49% from beyond the arc, 4.8 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.4 steals per game in November. 

During the 2018/19 WNBL season Allen was able to produce several big plays when the Boomers most needed it, none more so than in the dying seconds of regulation in a Round 12 road game on 29 December against Bendigo Spirit at Bendigo Stadium. Melbourne trailed by three points with 5.5 seconds remaining in regulation, after the ball was inbounded to Allen from the baseline she dribbled up the court, got within a metre of the three-point line and with poise and magnificent execution made a step-back banked three pointer to send the game to overtime. Melbourne restricted Bendigo to three points in overtime to record a 71-67 victory. Allen was sublime against the Spirit, scoring 27 points, had four rebounds, three assists and one block whilst shooting at 54% from the field to earn her fifth and final Team of the Week selection of 2018/19.

Melbourne Boomers recorded 15 wins and six losses to finish the 2018/19 regular season in second place, one game behind minor premiers, the University of Canberra Capitals and two games ahead of the Adelaide Lightning and Perth Lynx in third and fourth position respectively. Melbourne lost their semi final series to Adelaide 0-2, being defeated 60-76 in game 1 at the State Basketball Centre and 92-100 in game 2 at Titanium Security Arena in Adelaide.

During 2018/19 Allen averaged 18.0 points (fifth in the league), 3.9 rebounds, 5.3 assists (fourth in the league) and a team-high 1.2 steals per game. Allen was a very accurate shooter, making 86% of her free-throw attempts and 51% of her field goals, impressive for a player of any size and exceptional for a 173 cm tall guard who took less shots in the paint than front-court players who had a similar accuracy. Lindsay scored in double figures 20 times and scored at least 20 points on 10 occasions including a season-high 29 points twice.

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Allen was named in the WNBL Team of the Week on five occasions – Rounds 2, 5, 6, 7 and 12 and was the league’s Player of the Week in Rounds 5 and 6. Following each game of the 2018/19 WNBL regular season both head coaches, along with the head referee cast votes for the league’s Most Valuable Player Award on a 3, 2, 1 basis. Allen finished third in the league’s MVP award with 94 votes behind UC Capitals forward Kelsey Griffin (119 votes) and Dandenong Rangers shooting guard Bec Cole (99).

The WNBL All-Star five was voted on by the coaches and captains of the WNBL clubs at the end of the regular season with a short-list of 20 players that received MVP votes during the season eligible to be voted for. Allen was selected in the WNBL All Star five along with Griffin, Cole, and two fellow American imports in Nia Coffey (Adelaide Lightning) and Asia Taylor (Perth Lynx).

In an interview late in the 2018/19 WNBL season Boomers Courtside Chat: Lindsay Allen which was later published on wnbl.basketball/Melbourne Allen was asked “What have you enjoyed most about your first WNBL season and playing for the Boomers?” LA responded “There’s just so many things that have been great – from the professionalism of the club, from the front office, down to coaches, down to my teammates has been phenomenal. I think the competition and the whole league has been great. It’s just been a great experience for me to come over here to Australia and be able to become a better basketball player, but also to see the world and experience something different to what I did in America.”6

Allen finishes in the top 10 of the 2019/20 WNBL MVP Award and leads the Boomers for scoring and assists per game

Of the six players that averaged more than 8.0 points per game for the Deakin Melbourne Boomers in 2018/19 four returned to the club in 2019/20 with Allen being joined in this category by George, Magbegor and Garrick. Australian Opals duo O’Hea and Talbot changed WNBL teams, joining the Southside Flyers and Adelaide Lightning respectively. Conti and Purcell from the Boomers 2018/19 core rotation also returned in 2019/20. A trio of Tall Ferns players in Toni Farnworth, Penina Davidson and Stella Beck joined Purcell at the Boomers. The Melbourne Boomers also recruited American import shooting guard Sophie Cunningham who in 2019 played her rookie WNBA season with Phoenix Mercury. Molloy and Flynn remained as head coach and assistant coach respectively, Larissa Anderson joined the Boomers as an assistant coach after being the head coach of the Dandenong Rangers in four consecutive WNBL seasons from 2015/16 to 2018/19.

In the Melbourne Boomers opening game of the 2019/20 season on the road against Bendigo at Bendigo Stadium on Saturday 12 October Allen scored a game-high 19 points and made seven of 14 field goal attempts including two of three three-pointers. In the 87-72 victory LA also took six rebounds, made a team-high seven assists and was named in the Round 1 WNBL Team of the Week.

Allen was named in the WNBL’s Round 3 Team of the Week for her role in Boomers victories against the Capitals at home and Townsville on the road, leading the Deakin Melbourne Boomers for scoring in both games. In a Friday night 107-72 home victory against the University of Canberra Capitals at  Geelong Arena Allen scored a game-high 23 points in just 25 minutes and three seconds court-time, making eight of her 12 field goal attempts for an accuracy of 66.7% and made all six free throws. Allen also took five rebounds, made an equal game-high six assists and an equal team-high two steals. On the road in the Deakin Melbourne Boomers second game of Round 3 against Townsville Allen scored 25 points and made five assists to lead the Boomers in both categories in the 80-71 victory.

Against Adelaide Lightning on the road in Round 6 on Friday 22 November at Titanium Security Arena Allen scored a game-high 20 points, took six rebounds and made a game-high five assists in the 71-57 Boomers victory. In the Boomers second road game for Round 6 against the Bendigo Spirit on Sunday 24 November Allen scored a game-high 17 points, made seven of her 14 field goal attempts at an accuracy of 50%, made four assists and took two steals in the 75-59 victory. Allen was named the WNBL’s Round 6 Player of the Week.

At home against the Adelaide Lightning at the State Basketball Centre in Round 10 on Sunday 22 December Allen scored a game-high 22 points, made eight of 13 field goal attempts at an accuracy of 61%, took six rebounds, made an equal game-high three assists and had a game-high three steals in the Deakin Melbourne Boomers 66-57 victory to be named in the WNBL’s Round 10 Team of the Week.

Due to a knee injury Allen missed four consecutive games from Round 13 to Round 15 with the last three of these games all being on the road. Allen made her return in the Boomers final game of the regular season in Round 16 at the State Basketball Centre against Perth Lynx on Saturday 1 February. Allen played limited minutes and had seven assists in the Boomers 104-75 victory after starting on the bench.   

The Boomers finished third at the end of the 2019/20 regular season with 15 wins and six losses, the same record as the second placed University of Canberra Capitals, two wins behind minor premiers, the Southside Flyers and three wins ahead of the fourth placed Adelaide Lightning. Due to winning the regular season split 2-1 the Capitals had home-court advantage in the semi final series against the Boomers. Allen returned to the Deakin Melbourne Boomers starting line-up for game 1 of the semi final series against the University of Canberra Capitals and scored a team-high 17 points in the Boomers 70-84 loss. In game 2 at the State Basketball Centre Allen scored 25 points, made 10 of 14 field goal attempts, had five rebounds and four assists in Melbourne’s 88-76 victory. The UC Capitals defeated the Boomers 77-64 in game 3 at AIS Arena to advance to the Grand Final and end the Boomers season.

During 2019/20 Allen played 20 of a possible 24 games for the Melbourne Boomers and averaged 14.8 points, 3.4 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 1.2 steals and 31.3 minutes court-time per game. Allen led the Boomers for scoring and assists per game, ranked second for minutes played behind George, fourth for steals and sixth for rebounds. Allen was named in the WNBL Team of the Week four times – Rounds 1, 3, 6 and 10 and was also named the league’s Player of the Week for Round 6. Despite missing four games during the 2019/20 regular season due a knee injury and having her court-time managed in other games Allen finished 10th in the WNBL’s 2019/20 MVP Award.

2020 WNBA season with the Las Vegas Aces

After missing the 2019 WNBA season due to a knee injury Allen returned to the Las Vegas Aces for the 2020 season. Due to COVID-19 the entire 2020 WNBA season was played in a hub at IMG Academy in Florida. Throughout the 2020 season Allen was a member of the Aces starting line-up along with guard Kayla McBride, guard/forward Angel McCoughtry, forward A’Ja Wilson, and centre Carolyn Swords. Other members of the Las Vegas core rotation that averaged more than 10 minutes per game were Dearica Hamby, Sugar Rodgers and Allen’s former Notre Dame teammate Jackie Young.

On 29 July Allen set a new career-high with 11 points against Atlanta, making five of seven field goal attempts at an accuracy of 71.4% including making her only three-pointer. Allen equalled her newly set personal best of 11 points in a game in her following game against Dallas on 2 August and also took four rebounds and made three assists. Allen had seven assists in a game twice during 2020, in Las Vegas’ season opener against Chicago on 26 July and on 13 August against Minnesota. Allen played 21 of a possible 22 regular season games and started every game that she played.

The Las Vegas Aces finished the 2020 regular season on top of the Western Conference with 18 wins and four losses, the equal best record in the league along with fellow Western Conference team the Seattle Storm. The top seeded Aces won their semi final series against 7th seed Connecticut Sun to advance to the WNBA Finals where they were defeated three games to nil by Seattle Storm.

Playing in Russia

During 2017/18 Allen played in Russia for Dynamo Moscow, primarily in the Russian Women’s Basketball Premier League where LA played 20 games, averaging 11.6 points, 3.4 rebounds, a league-high 5.2 assists, 1.3 steals and 29.9 minutes court-time per game. Allen also played 11 games for Dynamo Moscow in the Eastern European Women’s Basketball League (EEWBL) with the team progressing to the semi finals.

In 2020/21 Allen returned to Russia to play for Nika Syktyvkar, playing alongside fellow American import Brianna Turner. Allen played five games in the Basketball Premier League and five games in the EEWBL. In 10 games for Nika Syktyvkar across both competitions Allen averaged 10.9 points, 3.2 assists and 26.2 minutes court-time per game.

2021 WNBA season with Indiana Fever

On 15 February 2021 Allen was traded by the Las Vegas Aces along with pick 24 in the 2021 WNBA Draft to the Indiana Fever in exchange for pick 14 in the 2021 WNBA Draft. On being traded to the Indiana Fever Allen told fever.wnba.com “Well, my first reaction when I heard it was a possibility was kind of a mild shock and surprise.” Allen said with a little laughter. “I think whenever you are involved in trade speculation or rumours it’s kind of like ‘oh okay, we’ll see where this goes.’ Then once I figured out it was happening and started talking to Tamika [Catchings] and Coach [Marianne] Stanley and also talking to D-Rob [Danielle Robinson]. I realized it was a great fit for me, and I was excited about returning to Indiana, where I went to Notre Dame and where I was comfortable with the state, the fans and how big basketball is in the state in general. When the trade was first announced, I had a bunch of people who I interacted with from Notre Dame messaging and texting me. They are very excited that I am back in Indiana, and I’m excited that I’m closer to Notre Dame and that I will be able to take random trips to Notre Dame whenever I like. It’s just like a comfort level when it comes to Indiana and just kind of that home feeling that I get in Indiana and also in the Midwest as well. So yeah, I’m excited to get back there and get to work.”7

The 2021 WNBA season returned to its usual format of each club playing home games and away games following the 2020 season that was entirely played in a hub located at IMG Academy in Florida. Four players started at least 23 games for Indiana Fever during the 2021/22 regular season -Kelsey Mitchell, Tiffany Mitchell, Danielle Robinson and Teaira McCowan. Allen was a member of the nine player Fever core rotation who each played at least 12 games and averaged more than 10.0 minutes per game.

In 20 games for the Indiana Fever before the 2021 WNBA mid-season break for the Olympic Games Allen played more than 20 minutes and scored more than 10 points in a game once. After the mid-season break Allen was given more responsibility, playing more than 20 minutes in the Fever’s last 10 games of the season and was a member of the starting line-up for the last eight games of the season commencing with a 74-72 victory against Los Angeles Sparks on 31 August. After the Olympic break Allen scored more than 10 points in a game seven times.

Against Phoenix Mercury in a home game on 6 September at Indiana Farmers Coliseum Allen scored 15 points, took two rebounds, had a game-high seven assists and had no turnovers. From this game onwards Allen had at least five assists in five of her last six games of the season.   

At home against Minnesota on 17 September during Indiana’s penultimate game of the regular season Allen scored 15 points, made two of three three-pointers, made a game-high seven assists and had an equal game-high two steals.

In Indiana Fever’s final regular season game of 2021 Allen recorded the first double-double of her WNBA career with 10 points and a game-high 10 assists as well as four rebounds in a road game against the Chicago Sky on 19 September. “In her first season with Indiana after being traded from Las Vegas, Allen recorded 5.4 points, 1.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists, a 42.8 field goal percentage, 81.1 free throw shooting percentage and 17.8 minutes per game, which were all career-high averages.”8

Upcoming 2022 WNBA season with Indiana Fever

On 4 February 2022 Indiana Fever announced that Allen had re-signed with the club for the 2022 season. Indiana head coach Marianne Stanley commented “Lindsay was a great addition for us last year at the point guard position. Her vision, basketball IQ and leadership added a lot to our team. We are pleased to have her back again in Indiana.”9

Five players from Indiana Fever’s 2021 roster are suiting up for the club again in 2022 – Allen, Kelsey Mitchell, Tiffany Mitchell, Danielle Robinson and Victoria Vivians who are all guards. In the off-season Indiana also recruited Bria Hartley, a guard with eight years WNBA experience. During the off-season Allen and Tiffany Mitchell were both members of the Melbourne Boomers team that won the 2021/22 WNBL Championship.

Indiana finished the 2021 regular season in last position with six wins and 26 losses. At the 2022 WNBA Draft Indiana had seven picks overall including four in the top 10 – forward NaLyssa Smith with pick two, forward Emily Engstler with pick 4, guard Lexie Hull with pick six and centre Queen Egbo at pick 10. With their only second round pick Indiana used pick 20 to selected Destini Henderson who was the staring point guard for NCAA 2022 Champions South Carolina.

Australian forward Alanna Smith is attending the Fever’s training camp after being selected in the 2021/22 All-WNBL First team and has represented the Opals at the past two major championships – 2018 World Cup where Australia won the silver medal and the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Indiana currently have 17 players on their roster and play their first pre-season game against Chicago Sky at home on 30 April. Fever commence their 2022 WNBA regular season with a road game against the Washington Mystics on 6 May.   

In 105 WNBA regular season games Allen has had 31 starts and averaged 3.5 points, 1.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 0.5 steals and 15.1 minutes court-time per game.

2021/22 WNBL Championship winning season with the Melbourne Boomers

On 11 June 2021 the Deakin Melbourne Boomers announced that 26 year-old Allen had signed with the club for the 2021/22 WNBL season. Boomers head coach Guy Molloy told wnbl.basketball/melbourne “I am thrilled that Lindsay is back for the upcoming season, she has made our team better each year. With her pure talent and ability to win games, Lindsay will be one of the best players in the league this season and we are all excited to see how she has continued to improve her game.”10

On 19 November, 2021 the Deakin Melbourne Boomers announced that head coach Molloy was heading to New Zealand permanently after the 2021/22 WNBL season. Molloy was in his ninth consecutive season as coach of the Melbourne Boomers in 2021/22.

Melbourne Boomers 2018/19 club MVP winner Allen returned to the Boomers for her third season with the club in 2021/22 and was joined by her Indiana Fever teammate Tiffany Mitchell. During a six-season WNBA career with the Indiana Fever shooting guard Mitchell has averaged 10.1 points per game, playing 175 games, including 87 starts.

The six Deakin Melbourne Boomers players that returned from the 2020 roster to suit up for the club again in 2021/22 were headlined by George, Magbegor and Tess Madgen who were the Boomers three highest scorers during the 2020 WNBL season, each averaging more than 13.0 points per game. In 2020 the Boomers made the finals, defeated the Canberra Capitals in a semi final and lost to Townsville in a preliminary final. Guard Izzy Wright and forward Penina Davidson were part of the Boomers core rotation in 2020 and 2020 development player Rachel Brewster was elevated to the main roster. Maddie Garrick left the Boomers to join the Bendigo Spirit and George was named the Boomers sole captain for the 2021/22 season. With Australian Opals trio George, Magbegor and Madgen along with American imports Allen and Mitchell the Boomers had a potent starting line-up for the 2021/22 season. The Boomers 10 player main roster at the start of the 2021/22 season was completed by guard Lily Scanlon and forward Lou Brown.

In consecutive victories against the Southside Flyers in the Boomers second and third games of the 2021/22 WNBL season Allen scored 22 points and shot the ball at more than 55 % from the field. In a home game at Melbourne Sports Centres Parkville on 11 December Allen made 10 of 15 field goal attempts at an accuracy of 66.7%, was the equal leading scorer for the game along with fellow Boomers import Mitchell, took four rebounds and had an equal game-high five assists in a 91-72 victory. A week later in a road game at Dandenong Stadium on 18 December Allen was phenomenal from long range, making six of nine three-pointers at an accuracy of 66.7%, all the other players in the game shot a combined 7 of 29 three-pointers at an accuracy of 24.1%. Allen also made four assists and had two steals in the Boomers 87-72 victory.  

During the 2021/22 WNBL season the Deakin Melbourne Boomers recruited experienced forward Carley Ernst (nee Mijovic) who gave birth to her first child, son Kylan in September 2021, around the time the Boomers were starting their pre-season. 27 year-old Ernst had played over 200 WNBL games and played her first game for the Boomers on 17 January against Perth Lynx.

Against the University of Canberra Capitals on 27 February Allen starred in a thrilling Boomers 78-76 victory on the road at the National Convention Centre. After Melbourne trailed Canberra 55-63 at three quarter time Allen delivered a match winning fourth quarter, scoring 11 points and having two assists to propel the Boomers to a 23-13 run and the fightback victory. Allen finished the game with a game-high 29 points, made nine of 13 field goal attempts at an accuracy of 69.2%, made all nine free-throw attempts and made a game-high eight assists playing the full 40 minutes.

The Deakin Melbourne Boomers had 12 wins and five losses during the 2021/22 regular season to finish on top of the WNBL ladder, ahead of Perth Lynx (11 wins and five losses), University of Canberra Capitals (11 wins and six losses) and Adelaide Lightning (10 wins and seven losses).

In game 1 of the semi final series at Melbourne Sports Centres Parkville the Boomers trailed Adelaide Lightning 13-26 at quarter-time, Allen led the Boomers with six points in the opening term. At half-time the Boomers trailed Adelaide 32-47 and the Lightning looked to be in control of the game. The contest completely changed complexion during the third quarter with the Melbourne Boomers dominating the term to outscore Adelaide 30-12 to amazingly turn a 15 point half time deficit into a three point lead at the final change, 62-59. Allen scored 11 points in the last quarter including two three-pointers to help the Boomers dominate the fourth term 33 points to five and win 95-64. The Boomers completely outplayed Adelaide in the second half to register 63 points whilst restricting Adelaide to just 17 points. Against Adelaide Allen used on-ball screens effectively, scored a game-high 24 points, made nine of 15 field goal attempts at an accuracy of 60%, was even more damaging from long range, making three of four three-pointers at an accuracy of 75% and made all three free-throw attempts. Allen also took seven rebounds and had five assists in the Boomers victory.

Game 2 of the semi final at The Lights Community and Sports Centre was a low scoring encounter. After trailing Adelaide 18-25 with three minutes and 15 seconds remaining in the first half the Boomers scored the next 11 points unanswered to lead 29-25 at half-time and went on to win 61-49 to progress to the WNBL Grand Final for the first time since the 2017/18 season. In the last six quarters of the semi-final series the Boomers played phenomenal defense to restrict Adelaide to just 66 points which equates to a miserly 11 points per quarter. In game 2 against the Lightning Allen scored a team-high 15 points, made three of six three-pointers, took three rebounds and had three assists.

Melbourne progressed to the Grand Final and would attempt to win the second championship in the club’s history. From 2008/09 to 2011/12 when the club was known as the Bulleen Boomers they made four consecutive Grand Finals and had one victory in 2010/11, defeating the Canberra Capitals 103-78 at their current home court Melbourne Sports Centres Parkville, the venue was then known as the State Netball and Hockey Centre and had the nickname of ‘The Cage’. In her last WNBL game Boomers point guard Sharin Milner won the Grand Final Most Valuable Player Award.  

The Boomers most recent Grand Final appearance was in 2017/18, the third season that the Grand Final was played as a best of three games series. Townsville at home won game 1 by five points 69-64. In game two at the State Basketball Centre Melbourne won a thrilling low scoring encounter by a single point 58-57.  Townsville won game 3 at Townsville RSL Stadium 70-57.

In game 1 of the 2021/22 WNBL Grand Final series on Saturday 2 April the Melbourne Boomers on their home court at Melbourne Sports Centres Parkville led 10-9 with five minutes and 55 seconds remaining in the first quarter. In next three minutes and 20 seconds Perth went on a 15-2 run to lead 24-12 with two minutes and 35 seconds to play in the opening term. Melbourne didn’t challenge Perth from that point on and were defeated 71-98. Allen scored 13 points, took three rebounds and made two assists.

In the first half of game 2 on the road at Bendat Basketball Centre on Wednesday night 6 April Boomers point guard Allen was exceptional and provided the dramatic momentum shift the Boomers desperately needed. Perth had a blistering start to game 2, scoring 28 points in the first quarter, Allen made all three three-pointers and scored 10 points in the opening term to keep Melbourne within striking distance, trailing by three points at the first break. 

During the second quarter the Boomers were able to limit Perth’s scoring and draw level. In the dying seconds of the first half Allen grabbed the lead for the Boomers in emphatic fashion. With five seconds remaining in the second quarter Allen took a defensive rebound and then with urgency but remaining composed dribbled to the top of the three-point line and made a perfectly timed buzzer beating three to give the Boomers a three point lead, 42-39 at half-time. In a sublime first-half Allen scored 19 points in an inspirational performance.

With one minute and 50 seconds remaining in the fourth term Melbourne led Perth 71-70. Just over a minute later Allen drove into the key, drew defenders and passed to George who made a three pointer to extend the Boomers lead to 74-70 with 43 seconds to play. Marina Mabrey made a three-pointer for Perth to reduce the margin to one point with 9.6 seconds left. George made two foul shots two seconds later to get the margin back to three points. On an attempted three-pointer to tie the scores Marina Mabrey was fouled with 0.2 seconds left. Mabrey made the first two free-throws with swishes, however the third free-throw was short, hitting the front of the rim, and the Boomers prevailed, winning 76-75 to send the series to a third game. The lead changed 13 times during a highly entertaining game two.

Allen finished the game with a team-high 29 points, made 10 of 17 field goal attempts at an accuracy of 58.8% and was exceptional from long range, making four of five three-pointers at an accuracy of 80%. Allen took seven rebounds and made six assists ranked second for the game behind teammate Madgen with seven. Two other players scored more than 20 points in the game, Perth guard Mabrey scored a game-high 30 points and Boomers captain George scored 22 points.

The 2021/22 WNBL Grand Series was the first time that the road team won the first two games. In game three history was going to be made regardless of the result as Melbourne were attempting to become the first team to overcome a 0-1 deficit in a Grand Final series whilst Perth were attempting to become the first road team to win a game three.

In the third and deciding game of the 2021/22 WNBL Grand Final at Melbourne Sports Centres Parkville on Saturday 9 April, the Boomers at home trailed Perth Lynx 13-14 with five minutes remaining in the first quarter. Melbourne went on a 8-0 run to lead 21-14 with 25 seconds left in the opening term. The Boomers extended their lead to 16 points at half-time and went on to win in convincing fashion by 18 points, 84-66 to win the WNBL Championship, the second in the Boomers history.

In game three Allen scored 14 points, took four rebounds and made a game-high seven assists. All five Boomers starters scored at least 14 points in the deciding game with George and Magbegor scoring an equal team-high 17 points closely followed by Mitchell (16) and Madgen (15).

After being announced as the winner of the 2021/22 Rachael Sporn medal as Grand Final MVP Allen commented “It’s going to sound cliché and corny but this is really for the whole team. Honestly, I really couldn’t do it without you guys, supporting me, I just can’t thank you guys and the coaches enough, Tony (Hallam, Chairperson of the Melbourne Boomers), the board, the WNBL, BA (Basketball Australia), everyone, and last, shout-out to the fans, thank you for all your support all season.”

Both times that the Boomers have won the WNBL Championship their starting point guard won the Grand Final MVP Award with Sharin Milner having won the award in 2010/11. In 2014 the Grand Final MVP was re-named the Rachael Sporn medal in honour of Sporn who won five WNBL Championships, the Grand Final MVP twice, the regular season MVP twice and represented Australia at three Olympic Games.

Over the past 14 seasons from 2008/09 to 2021/22 a point guard has won the Grand Final MVP Award eight times with Boomers duo Milner and Allen being joined in this category by Natalie Hurst (2008/09), Kathleen MacLeod (2011/12), Micaela Cocks (2015/16), Leilani Mitchell (2016/17 and 2020) and Olivia Epoupa (2019/20).

During the 2021/22 WNBL season Allen played all 22 games for the Melbourne Boomers and averaged 14.2 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game. Allen had an accuracy of 38.4% for three-pointers and 88.6% for free-throws. Allen scored more than 23 points in a game three-times – 29 points against Canberra Capitals on 27 February in a two point fightback victory which helped secure a top-two finish, 24 points in game 1 of the semi final series against Adelaide and 29 points against Perth in the one point victory in game 2 of the Grand Final series.

Allen ranked ninth in the WNBL for assists per game, fourth for minutes played, equal eighth for free-throws made, equal 15th for steals and 15th for scoring. Allen led the Deakin Melbourne Boomers for assists and minutes played per game, ranked third for scoring behind Magbegor (15.4 points per game) and Mitchell (15.0), fourth for steals and fifth for rebounds. George (14.1 points per game) ranked just behind Allen and Madgen (10.2) made it all five Boomers starters averaging more than 10 points per game. Highlighting how even the Boomers starting line-up was, the club’s four leading scorers all ranked between 12th and 16th in the league for points per game.

The Boomers five starters all averaged more than 28.0 minutes court-time per game. Three players – Carley Ernst, Penina Davidson and Izzy Wright all averaged between 14.0 and 15.0 minutes per game. 11 Boomers played at least 12 games in 2021/22 with Lily Scanlon, Rachel Brewster and Lou Brown each averaging between 6.0 and 9.0 minutes per game.   

Allen was selected in the 2021/22 All WNBL second team and was one of three Melbourne Boomers to earn All-WNBL team selection along with Ezi Magebgor who was selected on the All-WNBL first team and Boomers captain Cayla George who joined Allen on the All-WNBL second team. George commented “L.A. (Allen) is one of the best point guards I’ve ever played with. The amount of respect and love I have for her is off the charts. I’m not surprised that she has achieved this accolade this season!”11

On being selected in the All-WNBL second team Allen told wnbl.basketball/melbourne “This recognition means a lot. I think it just speaks to the team that we have and, who we are led by in, Guy Molloy. It couldn’t have been done without them and I’m appreciative of the opportunity the Boomers have given me.”12

During the four season period from 2018/19 to 2021/22 imports were eligible to play in the WNBL in three seasons with 2020 being the exception. Lindsay Allen is the only import to play in the league in all three seasons and earnt All-WNBL team selection twice, being selected on the first team in 2018/19 and was named on the second team in 2021/22. Allen led the Boomers for assists per game in all three seasons and in scoring in 2018/19 and 2019/20. Allen’s ability to perform at an exceptional level when the stakes were at their highest shone through during the 2021/22 season, making her a worthy winner of the Rachael Sporn medal as Grand Final MVP and LA was influential in the Deakin Melbourne Boomers winning the WNBL Championship.

Article and photographs by Dean Andrews

Twitter – @DeanAndrews7777

References

1 https://www.wnba.com/player/lindsay-allen/

2 https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/highschools/lindsay-allen-of-st-johns-brings-an-uncommon-focus-to-basketball-court/2013/02/25/5d7d0da8-7f57-11e2-a350-49866afab584_story.html

3 https://www.espn.com/womens-college-basketball/story/_/id/18970631/women-ncaa-tournament-point-guard-lindsay-allen-drives-notre-dame-fighting-irish-sweet-16

4 https://www.reviewjournal.com/sports/basketball/aces-wnba/lindsay-allen-provides-stability-on-short-notice-for-aces/

5 https://aces.wnba.com/news/lindsay-allen-to-miss-2019-season-following-offseason-knee-surgery/

http://wnbl.basketball/melbourne/news/boomers-courtside-chat-lindsay-allen/

7 https://fever.wnba.com/news/lindsay-allen-returning-to-indiana/

8 https://www.wnba.com/player/lindsay-allen/#/career

9 https://www.wnba.com/news/fever-re-sign-lindsay-allen/

10https://wnbl.basketball/melbourne/news/lindsay-allen-back-for-boomers/

11 https://wnbl.basketball/melbourne/news/three-boomers-named-allstar-wnbl-teams/

12 https://wnbl.basketball/melbourne/news/three-boomers-named-allstar-wnbl-teams/

Milestones and Misses

Milestones and Misses publishes articles to celebrate the achievements of sportspeople, mainly in the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) and Australian Rules Football (AFL and AFLW). In sport as with life in general it is common that milestones are only achieved after overcoming adversity, so whilst the articles on the Milestones and Misses website celebrate sportspeople achieving milestones they also cover the misses along the journey such as a player having minimal game-time or spending a prolonged period on the sidelines due to injury. The aim of the articles is to enable readers to gain a greater appreciation of the journey sportspeople have had during their career.

Links to the Milestones and Misses homepage and WNBL category are below:

https://milestonesandmisses.com/

https://milestonesandmisses.com/category/wnbl/

The Milestones and Misses website was set up in December 2015. From 2020 onwards articles have been published on the following sportspeople:

WNBL

Lindsay Allen

Jade Melbourne

Maddison Rocci

Cayla George

Kelly Wilson

Steph Talbot

Bec Cole

Aimie Rocci

Abby Bishop

Tessa Lavey

Ezi Magbegor

Zitina Aokuso

Leilani Mitchell

Maddie Garrick

Sara Blicavs

NBL

Nathan Sobey

AFLW

Ashleigh Riddell

Hayley Miller

Darcy Vescio

Tessa Lavey

Georgia Patrikios

Alyce Parker

Tyla Hanks

Tyanna Smith

Tarni White

Caitlin Greiser

AFL

Sam Walsh

Jack Steele

Luke Jackson

Harry McKay

Seb Ross

Nicky Winmar

Jayden Short

Clayton Oliver

Lenny Hayes

Tim Membrey

Rowan Marshall

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