Bendigo Spirit will hit the road for a tough away match this weekend.
The team will play the Adelaide Lightning on Sunday, for a match where the Spirit will endeavour to put another win on the board to end its six-game losing streak.
First year Spirit player Shyla Heal said it was crucial to secure victory against the Lightning.
"This weekend against Adelaide is definitely a big game for the team, if we get the split over Adelaide, it will keep our finals hopes alive," Heal said.
The teams have met twice this season, each with one win to their name from the overall three-game series.
Most recently the Spirit fell to the bottom of the ladder after a 14-point loss to the Townsville Fire last week, final scores 80-94.
"We gave Townsville 94 points last game which is way too many," Heal said.
Spirit will be without second-year import Becca Tobin, who was released from her team contract on Thursday evening due to "off-court matters", with the team providing no further details.
Spirit coach Tracy York said the team had identified mental focus across all four quarters as a key priority.
"It's all a process when you have a new group of players for a season. We work hard and train hard but at times it's not translating into games," York said.
"The girls have identified it and we aim for more mental focus across all four quarters.
"We've noticed parts of games where the other team moves forward and continue to make shots, but we don't.
"Our aim is to stop it."
Ahead of the game against the Lightning, the Spirit have watched their opponent's most recent game, a loss to Sydney.
"It's a good game for the team to scout as our next game after Adelaide is Sydney," York said.
"We will be able to see any recent trends in both teams.
"We will also address where in the last game against Adelaide where it was that they were able to get away from us."
The goal is to prevent Adelaide from getting the early upper hand with a strong start to the game.
"They will definitely want to get the game off to a flying start, which our goal is to stop that from happening."
Despite the Spirit's 9-2 record, the team is still more than focused on making the finals series.
"It's there, we just need to win games to get there," York said.
Spirit v Lightning, Sunday December 15 at Titanium Security Arena, tip-off at 1pm.
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