Flames take nail-biting win over Thunder
December 20, 2009, 05:43 PM AEST


Sydney UniLoganWNBL Frontpage News

BDS Logan Thunder has come within two points off pulling off a miraculous upset win over premiership contenders ACUVUE Sydney Uni Flames at Logan Metro on Sunday.

Suzy Batkovic-Brown supplied almost half of the Flames’ total score as the powerful centre registered a season-high 35 points to inspire her team to a nail-biting 75-73 win over a much-improved Thunder outfit.

After Townsville ended its eight-game unbeaten streak on Friday night, the Flames were eager to get back onto the winners board.

However it was the hosts that set the pace early taking a six-point lead into the first break, thanks largely to a sizzling 11-point opening term by Thunder skipper, Kristen Veal (who finished with 22 points).

After being held to just two points in the first quarter, Batkovic-Brown led the Flames’ fight back with the league’s leading scorer tallying 33 points in the last three quarters.

Thunder coach, Jason Chainey said Batkovic-Brown was the difference in the end.

Despite losing, Chainey was full of praise for his team’s effort, branding it one of the Thunder’s best performances this season.

“Suzy Batkovic-Brown was the difference,” Chainey said. “35 points, she went to town on us, she had I think almost half their points in the end.

“But I’m very proud of our team.

“Sydney (University) is second on the table and the second best in the league, so I’m very proud of the girls and showed we can be a top two or three team.”

The high-intense and up-tempo affair saw both teams locked at 71 points apiece with 2min 40sec left in the final quarter.

A three-pointer by Deanna Smith with 1min 30sec left in the match broke the deadlock and provided a big enough buffer for the Flames to hold off their opponents to the final siren.

IT WAS OVER WHEN… the Flames – who were holding a one-point lead – were able to eat up nine seconds of the clock from the timeout throw-in with 11 seconds left in the match. Thunder’s Natalie Purcell eventually fouled Mikaela Dombkins, but with only a couple of seconds left in the match, Kristen Veal was unable to get a decent shot away after rebounding Dombkins second free throw.

THE STATS SAY… the Thunder struggled to maintain Suzy Batkovic-Brown and were dominated by the Flames on the boards.

Batkovic-Brown finished with a season-high 35 points, while the Flames grabbed 11 more rebounds than the under-sized Thunder (38-27).

GAME NOTES: The Flames only had five point scorers for the match, with Ellie Manou scoring just two points, which came from the free throw line in the fourth quarter.

For the second week in a row the Thunder only managed to register eight assists, with Kristen Veal, who is averaging almost five assists per game this season, recording just two assists. It is also just the fourth time this season the Thunder have recorded less than 10 assists in a match.

The biggest lead of the match was just seven points, which the Thunder held during the second term.

Flames’ Suzy Batkovic-Brown played 38min 20sec, which is the most court time she has seen in a game this season. While her team-mate, Deanne Butler played the whole match without a rest, despite failing to score a single-point, which is a first for her this season.

The Flames turned the ball over just nine times, which is a season best for the club.

The Thunder has lost four straight games and lost four straight games at home. The club has only managed to score two victories at home this season from seven matches. 

[Box Score]

ACUVUE SYDNEY UNI FLAMES 75 (S Batkovic-Brown 35, D Smith 18, M Dombkins 13) bt
BDS LOGAN THUNDER 73 (K Veal 22, S Graham 16, B Abbott 12)
At Logan Metro Indoor Sports Centre

By Griffith Thomas
Griffith Thomas writes for The Reporter Newspaper

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