Lynx show class over gallant Flames

IN a momentum-swinging game where both teams put on a shooting display, the Perth Lynx got the job done against a brave Sydney Uni Flames outfit by five points, 86-81.

The Flames were looking to give a better performance after a tough loss against the Adelaide Lightning on January 20. The Perth Lynx had played some great basketball, including a 102-73 win over the UC Caps on January 19, came into the game with plenty of confidence. Given the uncertain WA border situation, the Lynx were looking to get another win on the board and continue to gel as a team.

  • Team
  • Sydney Uni Flames
  • Perth Lynx

FIRST QUARTER:

Lauren Scherf got off to a great start to the game, scoring the opening points and driving to the basket on Kalani Purcell. From there, the Flames showed confidence through gaining momentum, pulling down rebounds on the defensive glass, and having good chemistry and rhythm.

Despite the Lynx getting off to a slow start, star import Marina Mabrey and Sami Whitcomb started to find momentum and hit tough shots, which ensured Perth stayed in touch of the game. The Lynx had no answers for Lauren Mansfield, Shyla Heal and Rennia Davis, who were instrumental in keeping the run going for the Flames. After one quarter, the Flames went into the quarter time break with a one-point lead, 24-23.

With the Flames putting the scoreboard pressure on the game, one positive they could take away was the defensive end on point, not allowing the Lynx to score easy points and the Flames being able to capitalise and make difficult shots under the basket.

SECOND QUARTER:

The Flames started the second quarter strongly, and took it up to the Lynx by playing tight defence. Having an 8-0 scoring run, Mabrey settled the Lynx with a two. Davis continued to do the hard work, Mabrey lifted the tempo and stepped up, lifting the team and drawing a foul on Mansfield, with the Lynx in need of scorers and a spark.

The Flames were able to pick up the momentum once again, with the likes of Mansfield shooting the lights out and causing problems, scoring 13 points and forcing the Lynx to call a time-out. With a couple of minutes left in the first half left, the Lynx were desperate to continue to be aggressive and stop the Flames’ run of scoring.

After a great first half by the Flames, the home side went into the half-time break with a seven-point lead, 43-36.

Whilst Davis and Mansfield were a shining light for the Flames, Mabrey kept the Lynx in the match. The Flames need to shut down the Lynx and keep up with the intensity and running the ball whilst for the Lynx, looking to step up and involve the likes of Darcee Garbin and Whitcomb to go hard in the scoring.

THIRD QUARTER:

The Flames continued from the first half with a great start into the third quarter, with Davis working in the key and scoring over Scherf. Keely Froling provided a highlight of her own, playing good defence on Scherf, while Davis once again scored on the offensive end.

To the Lynx credit, they did not give up continuing to add the pressure defensively, including an Alexandra Ciabattoni defensive stop. With Garbin stepping up and nailing a three-pointer, the Flames had to call a time-out, holding a six-point lead, 56-50.

With both teams having a few possessions back and forth and adding the tight defensive pressure, Purcell continued to put the defensive pressure on and do the little things well. Both teams continued to pull off a masterclass shooting display, with the Flames responding well every time the Lynx scored. The Flames went into the quarter time break with a nine-point lead, 70-61.

FOURTH QUARTER:

Both teams started the last quarter applying tight defensive pressure and scrapping for the ball. Teams continued to chip away at the offensive end going back and forth. With the Lynx starting to find their rhythm, the key for the Flames was through conversion and free throws.

With Mabrey, Scherf and especially Jackie Young stepping up offensively, it helped give the Lynx the lead. The Flames came out of the time-out and Heal was unable to convert from the free-throw line, which enabled Mabrey to seal the win for the Lynx, nailing a crucial shot.

After a thrilling match, with the Lynx showing their class, using their experience and hitting shots at big moments, came away win a five-point win, 86-81.

CLOSING THOUGHTS …

For the Flames, Mansfield was on song, scoring 24 points at 58 per cent from the field. Heal had19 points, five rebounds and seven assists, while Davis finished with 21 points and 13 rebounds.

For the Lynx, Mabrey was on fire, scoring 34 points, six rebounds and four assists. Young had 13 points and four rebounds, Darcee Garbin finished with 13 points and four rebounds, and Lauren Scherf recorded a double-double, scoring 12 points and 10 rebounds.

The Flames face a triple header of games in Round 9, coming against the Bendigo Spirit on January 25 (Bendigo), the UC Capitals on January 29 (Canberra) then Southside Flyers on January 30 (Bendigo). Perth Lynx face Southside Flyers on January 27 (Dandenong) then the Bendigo Spirit on January 29 (Ballarat).

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