Bendigo Spirit thrashes Melbourne Boomers

THE Bendigo Bank Spirit thrashed Melbourne Boomers in Saturday night's basketball clash.

Bendigo's defensive power, scoring punch and rebounding strength overhelmed Melbourne in a 83-49 result on the Bendigo Stadium showcourt.

Spirit coach Bernie Harrower said the 34-point victory capped the "most complete team performance" in this Women's National Basketball League season.

Unbeaten since round one of this WNBL season, Spirit dominated just about every minute of the battle between first and third on the ladder.

Bendigo built on a 10-point lead at quarter-time by strangling Melbourne's attack in the second.

The Boomers scored just six points in the second as Bendigo added 19 for a 42-19 margin at half-time.

Melbourne did win the first half of the third quarter, but Bendigo regained the momentum.

There were few occasions where Bulleen scored consecutive baskets.

Although there were some concerns about fatigue following Bendigo's clash in Canberra on Friday night there was still plenty of energy in the last.

The Spirit won the final quarter, 18-7.

Spirit coach Bernie Harrower was rapt with the contribution of so many players.

"Tonight was our most complete team effort and performance of the season," Harrower said.

"Melbourne is a quality team, they run their plays well, are well-coached, and have a lot of quality players.

"The Boomers had not played for three weeks, but they were are always a danger.

"The most pleasing aspect of this match was the energy levels within our team.

"They really rose to the occasion."

Spirit had 10 players feature in the scoring tally.

Gabe Richards led the way with 13 points and 12 rebounds.

The feats by Richards and Kelsey Griffin, 11 points and eight rebounds, earned the Spirit awards.

Leading stats in Saturday night's match between Bendigo Spirit and Melbourne Boomers:

Points - Bendigo: 13 Gabe Richards, 12 Sara Blicavs, 11 Kelsey Griffin, 10 Elyse Penaluna, 9 Chelsea Aubry, 9 Kristi Harrower. Melbourne: 9 Tess Madgen, 9 Amelia Todhunter, 7 Rebecca Allen.

Rebounds - Bendigo (37): 12 Richards, 8 Griffin, 6 Penaluna, 3 Maddie Garrick. Melbourne (24):  7 Chelsea Poppens, 4 Allen.

Spirit is back on its home court for next Saturday night's match against West Coast Waves.

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