Mansfield’s magnificent shooting catalyst for Adelaide win
Mansfield was an offensive machine as the Lightning claimed their first win of the 2022/23 season, after suffering two devastatingly close calls in the second round of play. However, it was a well-deserved triumph from the home side, jumping out to a considerable lead in the opening half and holding on to close out the game with a big triumph.
Mansfield was the star of the show, leading all-comers in the scoring column with 23 points on a remarkable 8/9 shooting from the field, including going 7/7 from behind the arc. The Flames had no answer for the 32-year-old veteran, who fired from deep and launched her side to a much-needed victory to potentially kickstart their season.
Adelaide Lightning (87) def. Sydney Uni Flames (67)
Lauren Mansfield – 23 points (8/9 FG, 7/7 3PT), three rebounds, four assists
Mansfield kicked off the game not with a score, but with a nice dish to hear teammate Stephanie Talbot, with the pair having created plenty of chemistry by now. Talbot returned the favour the next possession, swinging the ball across to a wide open Mansfield in the corner, who made no mistake with a quick fire shooting motion. Her defence got involved next, intercepting a poor pass from Shyla Heal and firing a quick pass to Kierstan Bell in transition, who finished off the play inside on the fastbreak. Mansfield kept hot in the following minutes, recording her only two-pointer of the game with a pull-up jump shot, also in transition as she looked to catch Sydney Uni on the back foot. She finished the term on the bench, having already made quite an impact and helped Adelaide to a nine-point lead.
Mansfield came back into the game a few minutes into the second quarter, and her sharpshooting ways continued, draining a pull-up trifecta to extend Adelaide’s lead back out to double digits. It became abundantly clear that her three-point shooting was going to be a reliable weapon for Adelaide, and the triples continued to fall as she shook the Flames defenders either off the dribble or off the ball. Another two three’s were splashed by the time half time rolled around, and Adelaide was fully in control.
Mansfield went scoreless in the third quarter, but chimed in again in the final period. She drained another three shots from downtown, topping off a remarkable shooting display. The Flames defence tried to hold off on rotating and keep an eye on her on the perimeter, but to no avail. Given how strong the Lightning are in the frontcourt, the defence naturally gravitated inside, giving Mansfield the perfect opportunity to hurt the opposition from deep. It was a clinical shooting performance, and played a key role in getting Adelaide to a winning score. If the Lightning are to build in the coming weeks, Mansfield will need to keep this level of confidence.