Nicholson nails offensive outing in tight win

AN excellent scoring performance from Lauren Nicholson played a big role in the Sydney Flames‘ two-point win over the Adelaide Lightning to kick off Round 6 of the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL).

Coming into the game, there was no doubt that the Flames would be fresher, having had a week off last round to recharge the batteries. However, during that time, the Lightning delivered a brave performance against Bendigo, although scoring continues to be an issue. Sydney has plenty of scoring power and if Adelaide was to win, it would need to match that output. From a Flames perspective, it would all come down to discipline as allowing the opposition too many trips to the free throw line has been a problem in the past.

It was an enthralling battle, showcased by an arm-wrestle of a first quarter, after which the teams could not be separated at 21 points apiece. That trend continued into the second period, with both sides trading blows and finding plenty of offence as the Flames led by two at the main break. Heading into the fourth, Sydney held the biggest lead of the match at five points, and looked in the box seat given the even nature. However, the game went down to the wire, and Adelaide looked to have stolen the match when it hit the lead in the dying stages. As the good sides do, the Flames answered back and snuck home to a two-point victory.

Nicholson was the star of the show for the victors, firing from the field to get the Flames over the line when the match was on the line.

Adelaide Lightning (64) def. by Sydney Flames (66)

Lauren Nicholson – 20 points, two rebounds, one steal

Nicholson delivered one of her finest performances of the season against the Lightning, and arguably her most important.

She delivered a match-winning outing to give the Flames their third win of the season, which means the team is still in the hunt for a top-four spot moving forward.

Her 20 points were the most of anyone on the court, nailing eight of her 15 shots from the field and four of her six attempts from behind the three-point line. It was a classic performance from one of the Flames’ biggest weapons on the offensive end.

Nicholson also nailed the match-winning basket, pulling up from mid-range to give Sydney the lead with just over a minute to play, and advantage that it held onto to close out the game.

She was the defining factor in the match for the Flames, as they claimed a significant win to keep their season rolling.

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