THE Bendigo Lady Braves suffered a 82-61 defeat at the hands of the Knox Raiders in Sunday's SEABL women's championship game in Melbourne.
The Raiders took control of the game in the first quarter and the Lady Braves played catch-up from then on.
"They didn't give an inch..we tried to change things up and change momentum, but they made adjustments and kept their run going,'' Lady Braves coach Jonathan Goodman said.
"When you give up 28 points in the first quarter at any level it's going to be hard to come back from that.
"We showed glimpses halfway through the second quarter that we could tighten things up.
"Knox took their lead out again and then they scored on their first possessions of the third quarter and that made it very hard for us."
Rubbing salt into the Lady Braves wounds was the fact Bendigo Spirit stars Gabe Richards and Kelly Wilson were instrumental in the Raiders' victory.
Wilson had 24 points, seven assists and six rebounds, while Richards added 23 points and 11 rebounds.
Rebecca Allen dominated in the paint, with 21 points and 14 rebounds.
The Raiders' advantage in height and strength was clearly evident. Knox scored 48 points in the paint compared to Bendigo's 18.
"That stat was so damning, but what it doesn't show is that we didn't finish,'' Goodman said.
"We worked really hard and had chances offensively, but we didn't finish them off and that hurt us.
"I couldn't ask for more effort from the girls. We tried to do what we could to stop their presence inside, but we just couldn't do it."
Maddie Garrick led the Lady Braves with 18 points and four rebounds, while Lauren King battled hard to score 16 points and grab six boards.
Renae Camino overcame a poor first half to score 14 points.
The Lady Braves' offence never clicked.
They shot at 35 per cent from the floor, compared to the Raiders' 50 per cent.