A strong defensive effort and an improvement in perimeter shooting were the catalysts for the Bendigo Spirit’s win over the Sydney Uni Flames on Sunday.
After a below-par performance in Friday night’s home loss to Dandenong, the Spirit overcame a slow start against the Flames to record a 67-55 win in their round six WNBL clash in Sydney.
The Spirit’s three-point shooting was poor on Friday night and that trend continued early in Sunday’s game as the winless home side led by 10 points early in the second quarter.
After making just one of their first six three-point attempts for the game, the Spirit found their groove from behind the arc.
Nat Hurst (two), Barbara Turner and Cassidy McLean all hit three-point bombs as the Spirit unleased a 18-5 run to grab the lead before half-time.
Shooting got the Spirit back into the game and then their defence broke the game open in the third quarter.
The Spirit restricted the Flames to just four points for the quarter as they opened up a 10-point lead with a term to play.
The Flames cut the margin to seven points early in the final quarter but the Spirit steadied and stretched the lead to as many as 17 points.
The Flames scored some junk time points to make the scoreboard more respectable.
In a solid team effort, the Spirit had seven players score between six and 11 points – led by Becca Tobin and Hurst with 11 points.
The Spirit did a great job defensively to restrict Sydney star Brittany Smart to just eight points.
The victory lifted the Spirit to a 6-3 record and they remain in fourth place on the ladder ahead of next Saturday afternoon’s home clash with the Townsville Fire (3-5).
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