The ACUVUE Sydney Uni Flames got back on the winner’s list with a 91-50 trouncing of the AIS at ACUVUE Sports Hall on Friday night.
The experience of the Flames shone through as they burst away to an unassailable lead at halftime and held on for their most convincing win of the season.
Sydney Uni coach Karen Dalton was happy to get the win after two straight losses.
“The win was what we were after and we’re also trying to continue working on what we need to. We’ve improved every week. The first half tonight in particular I was really happy with, it was a bit scrappy in the second half but we had a lot of rotations in the second half,” she said.
“The bench players train just as hard as the other girls and it’s always great to give them an opportunity to play, I’m particularly happy with a couple of them and they’re opportunities will come. I think they get the most improvement at training when they’ve got to go against Suzy, Deanna Smith and Natalie Porter type players .”
Olympian Suzy Batkovic-Brown led all scorers with 21 points and added nine rebounds while Nat Porter scored 19 points and grabbed a game high 10 rebounds. Alice Kunek posted 11 points to lead the AIS.
“We worked on a few things tonight, particularly our scoring inside the paint and Nat and Suzy are the two that we really need that to happen with and to their credit they really tried hard to get it done. The whole team stuck to the game plan, it was really to try and improve some of the areas that I felt had cost us in the last two weeks,” Dalton said.
AIS centre Kunek calmly went about her work under the basket but Batkovic-Brown was getting it done at both ends of the court.
The Institute bench players struggled to get a shot off but guard Adrienne Jones worked hard from the point to add two points.
The Flames missed a couple of shots late in the quarter but managed to forge a 23-9 lead at the first break led by Batkovic-Brown with 11 points, converting 9-of-10 from the charity stripe.
Sydney Uni’s Ellie Manou made her presence felt in the paint with a block and hassled the young students.
Nat Porter drained a deep three and added 7 points in the second term as the Flames continued to smash the AIS on the boards. Sydney Uni stretched the lead to 51-17 at halftime.
The AIS found a spark in the third quarter as they managed to nail some of their shots and made some defensive stops.
The Flames steam train kept on rolling though and a Nat Porter three on the buzzer had the Sydney crowd on their feet with the home team holding a 70-34 advantage at the last break.
Jones kissed a floater off the glass but Batkovic-Brown answered back with a layup and forced a turnover.
The AIS continued to fight and a couple of treys from Madeline Taylor and Kunek kept the margin from blowing out to 50 points.
Mikaela Dombkins dominated the final two minutes, first draining an open shot from 3-point range before getting in for a layup and converting the bonus. She went on get a steal and took it coast to coast and sealed the win with a jump shot on the buzzer.
The AIS return to Canberra to take on the Kristi Harrower-led Bendigo Bank Spirit tomorrow while the Flames will rest up before travelling to Devonport to play the Dandenong Rangers on Saturday.
ACUVUE SYDNEY UNI FLAMES 91 (Suzy Batkovic-Brown 21, Natalie Porter 19, Mikaela Dombkins 12) bt
AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE OF SPORT 50 (Alice Kunek 11, Michelle Joy 9, Tess Madgen 8, Adrienne Jones 8)
Photo courtesy of Rob Sheeley