SUPERB defence was a key factor as the Champions IGA Bendigo Lady Braves scored a 23-point victory in Friday night’s basketball clash with Ballarat Rush.
On the rebound from defeat, the Lady Braves were in control for most of the contest at Bendigo Stadium.
The Jonathan Goodman-coached Bendigo won the rebounding duels, 44-32, and almost hit double figures in steals.
The Lady Braves tally of eight steals included three by guard Jane Chalmers and two by forward Lasondra Barrett.
A closely-fought opening quarter ended with Bendigo in front, 16-10.
By half-time the margin was out to eight points.
Lauren King was on a match-high 11 points, with Abigail Wehrung best for Rush on nine.
Bendigo surged to a 14-point lead early in the third term before consecutive baskets by Rush.
A Jane Chalmers three was followed by King being on the end of a series of passes around the key to cap off a mid-court steal by Chalmers.
By three quarter-time the Lady Braves held a 17-point buffer.
Steals by Chalmers and Barrett were capped by more points as Ballarat battled to break through a tight-knit defence.
For more than four minutes Rush had added just three points.
Ballarat capitalised on some wayward shots by Bendigo to be back within 16.
A Heather Oliver steal ended with another two points.
The Lady Braves kept on peppering the basket on their way to a 62-39 win.
Bendigo centre Alex Bunton achieved a match-high 14 points and won nine rebounds.
King 13 points, five rebounds; Barrett 11 and six; and Chalmers on nine and five, led the way.
Best for Rush were Wehrung, 11 points and 10 rebounds; Nya Mason, 8 points; and Stephanie Cumming, seven points.