BENDIGO Lady Braves coach Jonathan Goodman has praised an all-round team performance in Friday night's 19 point win over the Hobart Lady Chargers.
The Lady Braves held the Chargers to just 25 second-half points to claim a crucial 81-62 victory at Bendigo Stadium.
It leaves the Lady Braves with a shot at outright first place in the SEABL south conference, depending on the result of tonight's Nunawading Spectres versus Dandenong Rangers' game in Melbourne.
The Lady Braves advanced their record to 10-4 - the Rangers are currently 9-4.
Goodman hailed a superb defensive effort in the third and fourth quarters after they were challenged in the first half by the fourth-placed Chargers.
"When we turn it on and play some defence we are great," he said.
"Scoring for us is never a problem, it is our consistency defensively that can be a problem, but we showed we can shut down a quality group.
"Hobart was sitting fourth on the ladder, that puts us another game ahead of them.
"Launceston won, so they are still in the hunt, but depending what happens to Dandenong we could be a game clear by the end of the weekend."
The Lady Braves finished with five players in double figures, led by Bianca Dufelmeir with 13 points.
The first-year Lady Brave encountered early foul trouble and was more than adequately replaced in stretches of ther game by co-captain Tahnee Cannan, who stepped up with 11 points.
Chante Black complemented her 11 points with a game-high 17 rebounds, while Kelly Wilson had 11 points and a massive nine assists.
Goodman said the win was built on good contributions from throughout the roster.
"Bianca Dufelmeir hit three big threes, including one early one which really propelled us," he said.
"When Bianca got into foul trouble Tahnee came in and picked up where she left off.
"For us it was a great result, everyone contributed.
"Having Kelly back has been great, she shows great leadership and having her and Jane Chalmers run the point, it's a very steady ship.
"We're very fortunate right now."
Rising star Jess Rennie also drew praise from the coach for some tough defensive efforts against her older and more experienced Lady Chargers opponents.
The Lady Braves were without Carlie Smith, who is expected to be back for the Lady Braves' next game against the Frankston Blues next Saturday night.
For Hobart, Adelaide Lightning WNBL forward Alex Ciabattoni led the scoring with 16 points, while Kathleen Scheer led the rebound count with 14.