READ MORE -Bendigo Spirit fall to Perth Lynx
BENDIGO Spirit coach Tracy York labelled Carley Ernst's performance against the Perth Lynx on Wednesday night as her most complete all-round game for the club.
Despite another loss that leaves the Spirit now as the only team without a win in the WNBL season, Ernst was a dominant force for Bendigo, stacking the box score with 28 points, 10 rebounds, one assist, two blocks and three steals.
"People who know me know that I'm very defensive-minded and last night I thought Carley was really good at both ends of the court for us," York said on Thursday.
"If she can continue that way she's hard to stop and she then becomes someone who can guard with her length, and certainly, I thought that was the best all-round game I've seen her play. She's putting up good numbers, we just need to find some other contributors to help her out."
Ernst - in her second season with Bendigo - leads the Spirit in points (18.3 per game) and rebounds (7.0 per game) across their first four games.
The Spirit were beaten 78-65 by the Lynx in Mackay in what was their fourth game in six days.
Without a win yet, the Spirit have endured their first 0-4 start to a season since joining the WNBL in 2007-08, with all four of their losses by double figure margins.
The Spirit blew their chance of getting their first win of the season in the third quarter against the Lynx.
Bendigo had been within striking distance of Perth when it trailed 43-36 at half-time, before the Lynx dominated the third term, outscoring the Spirit 24-8 to open up a 23-point advantage.
"We missed some good opportunities in the third quarter... we missed and they didn't and it certainly unraveled in that quarter for us," York said.
"Our aggression dropped before a stage where the girls spoke to each other about 'at what point are we going to stand up and stop this', which they did."
From the disappointment of the third term, the Spirit closed the game out with their best quarter of the season so far, outscoring the Lynx 21-11 to trim the final deficit back to 13.
"It could have gone the other way and been blown out by 40, but I thought the girls fought the game out really well and showed the grit and determination of the group," York said.
The Spirit will continue their season with a double-header against Townsville in Townsville this weekend.
* WNBL ladder - Adelaide (2-0), Melbourne (3-1), Canberra (3-1), Townsville (2-1), Southside (2-1), Perth (1-3), Sydney Uni (1-3), Bendigo (0-4).
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