Melbourne thump Flyers to level WNBL semi-final series

Behind league MVP Cayla George's masterclass, the Melbourne Boomers have levelled their WNBL semi-final series against the Southside Flyers with a comprehensive 96-77 victory in Game Two.

The Boomers set up Saturday's lopsided victory at Parkville - their first in four attempts this season against their hometown rivals - with a ferocious start as they forged an impregnable 23-7 first-quarter lead.

After being uncharacteristically quelled in the series opener, George stamped her authority by scoring the first five points of Game Two and notching 20 of her match-high 28 points by halftime.

Fellow All-WNBL First Team member Kirsty Wallace also bounced back from her Game One horror show - held to two points on 0-of-11 from the field - to score 27, coupled with five steals.

Sara Blicavs (15 points) topscored for the Flyers, who were rocked before the match with the news star import Kayla Thornton - who often proves a tough match-up for George - wouldn't play, still hampered by the rolled ankle she suffered in Wednesday's series opener.

Southside looked in even more trouble when Maddi Rocci staggered off the court after just 63 seconds, winded in a collision with Abby Bishop, but the feisty guard returned to have a big impact, falling one rebound and two assists shy of a triple-double.

George buried three first-quarter triples to steer Melbourne to a commanding 27-13 lead at the first change before their cushion swelled to 24 points as Tiffany Mitchell got going in the second stanza.

Rocci sparked a 9-0 Flyers revival but their momentum was short-lived, Wallace replying with a three-point bomb on the halftime buzzer to give Melbourne a 52-36 lead at the main interval.

Behind Blicavs and skipper Bec Cole, Southside reduced the deficit to single digits in the third period before reserve Melbourne centre Penina Davidson stepped up with a flurry of heady plays to stall Southside again.

The Boomers finished the third term strongly to jump ahead 80-59 before George nailed another triple early in the third and celebrated with panache as the gap blew out to 25 points.

Melbourne's skipper knew her side had done enough to end their Southside hoodoo, keeping their title defence alive to force a Game Three decider on Wednesday.