Bendigo Spirit outpoints Logan Thunder

BENDIGO Bank Spirit warmed up for the WNBL play-offs by scoring a 29-point victory in Saturday night's home-court basketball clash with Logan Thunder.

Selected in the WNBL'S All-Star Five, Gabe Richards continued her outstanding form by scoring a game-high 22 points.

Richards had plenty of team-mates chip in with points, rebounds, assists, and one per-cent plays in the 97-68 victory.

Spirit coach Bernie Harrower said there were many positive and confidence-lifting signs.

Logan put the pressure on for a lot of the first quarter and went point-for-point for most of the second term.

Bendigo led 49-37 at half-time and went on a 17-1 run in the third.

Spirit's play at both ends of the court was superb.

Strong defence forced Logan into errors or shots from long-range.

Bendigo was on target from in the key or three-point territory.

Spirit led 71-49 at a quarter to go and did not let up.

Bendigo won the rebound duels, 40-26, and the assists, 23-9.

Chelsea Aubry earned Spirit's MVP award and Maddie Garrick was presented with the coaches award.

Leading points - Bendigo: 22 Gabe Richards, 17 Chelsea Aubry, 13 Kelly Wilson, 12 Maddie Garrick, 7 Jane Chalmers. Logan: 18 Emma Langford, 12 Tegan Cunningham, 10 Natalie Taylor, 10 Kristen Veal.

Spirit went into its latest hit-out with captain and four-time Olympian Kristi Harrower rested because of an ankle injury.

Bendigo centre Elyse Penaluna sustained a season-ending knee injury in the previous round at Dandenong.

Now the focus is on the first week of the play-offs.

Bendigo Spirit is at home on Sunday, February 23 against Dandenong Ranges. Tip-off is at 1pm at Bendigo Stadium.

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