Southside Flyers have denied Perth Lynx a first WNBL championship in 32 years, with a Mercedes Russell turnaround jumper in the dying seconds sealing a 97-95 win in game two of the grand final series.

The Flyers were in control for much of the game on Thursday night at Bendat Basketball Centre in Perth, but the Lynx fought to the death attempting to win a first championship since 1992.

The visitors led by as much as 15 points, but in the final minute Lynx captain Anneli Maley had two golden opportunities to put the hosts in front for the first time.

She missed two free throws with 35 seconds to go. Then, after the Lynx did well to force a stop and turnover, she took the ball hard to the rack but could not complete the lay-up.

That kept the scores level and the Flyers had a messy offensive possession, but the loose ball landed in the hands of centre Russell.

She turned around for the jumper with time expiring and made the winning basket, as the Flyers triumphed by two points to force the deciding game three in Melbourne on Sunday.

The Lynx blew the Flyers away in the opening game last Sunday, making 22-of-38 from behind the three-point arc in the 101-79 win.

The Flyers were never going to allow that to happen again and turned game two into a physical grind.

They did a solid job shutting down Amy Atwell (nine points) following her nine three-pointers on Sunday.

The Flyers prevailed despite a tough night for superstar Lauren Jackson, who had five points, nine rebounds and four assists.

They had plenty of other key contributors, including import Jaz Dickey who stepped up for 19 points.

“I’m super excited and super proud of the girls to get through and take it back home on Sunday,” Flyers coach Cheryl Chambers said.

“Our backs were against the wall and we probably aren’t happy that we got up and then they came back, but they’re a quality team and we knew they would fight back.”

AAP

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