The ACUVUE Sydney Uni Flames made it 4 wins in a row defeating Adelaide Link Lightning 77-62 at the ACUVUE Sports Hall in Sydney on Friday night.
Suzy Batkovic-Brown led the Flames onslaught with a double-double including a game high 27 points and 16 rebounds.
Mikaela Dombkins celebrated her 100th game in style chalking up 17 points and 7 rebounds filling the void left by Nat Porter who was sidelined with a broken wrist.
Adelaide’s Cayla Francis could not contain the force of the Flames’ inside game with solid performances from the trinity of Batkovic-Brown, Dombkins and Round 7’s Player of the Week Eva Afeaki.
Francis was the only Lighting player to break double figures with 17 points followed by Angela Marino with 9. Rebecca Duke and Renae Camino contributed 8 points each.
Adelaide started strong in the first quarter taking 75% of the rebounds, putting pressure on the Flames’ offence. Francis was a stand out for the Lightning scoring 10 of their 24 points. Both teams fought point for point until Mia Newley landed a buzzer beating 3 pointer leaving Adelaide with a 5 point lead, 24-19.
The Flames turned it around in the second term successfully shutting down Adelaide, who scored only 7 points compared to the Flames’ 17. Batkovic-Brown and Ellie Manou crashed the boards with 5 and 4 respectively which was “the key to the game” said Coach, Karen Dalton. At half time the scoreline was reversed with the Flames leading by 5, 36-31.
The third quarter saw Marino and Samantha Woosnam try to amp up the Lightning’s intensity but it was no match for Batkovic-Brown and Dombkins who dominated under the basket. After some crucial 3’s from Deanne Butler and Afeaki, the Flames extended their lead out to 14 points at the third break.
Adelaide’s defence dissolved in the final term allowing Batkovic-Brown to go on a scoring spree in the paint while Deanne Butler maintained the Flames’ outside game and finished with 11 points.
In the last minutes of the match, Nat Porter got the crowd excited as she yelled and waved from the sidelines, “I think she made more noise on the bench than she ever does on the court” joked Dalton after the game.
The Flames kept their stronghold over Adelaide and continued to extend their lead, defeating the Lightning 77-62 at the final buzzer.
The Flames hit the road on Saturday for one day of rest in Bendigo before taking on the Spirit on Sunday.
ACUVUE SYDNEY UNI FLAMES 77 (Suzy Batkovic-Brown 27, Mikaela Dombkins 17, Deanne Butler 11) bt
ADELAIDE LINK LIGHTNING 62 (Cayla Francis 17, Angela Marino 9, Rebecca Duke 8, Renae Camino 8)
At ACUVUE Sports Hall, Sydney
By Bec Landon for Flames Media
Photos courtesy of Rob Sheeley