December’s Player of the month Suzy Batkovic-Brown led the Flames with 30 points in a convincing 15 point win, 101-86, over the Thunder in Sydney on Saturday night.
Backing up after a 50 point thrashing by Bulleen Boomers on Friday night, BDS Logan Thunder fought an uphill battle against the ACUVUE Sydney Uni Flames at the ACUVUE Sports Hall despite Logan Captain Kristen Veal’s 23 point effort, the second highest scorer behind Sydney Uni’s Batkovic-Brown.
The game began evenly with both teams going basket for basket but after five minutes the Thunder struggled to match the Flames offensive momentum. Logan finally began to build some momentum in the final quarter, outscoring Sydney Uni 26-16 but after a 25 point deficit at three-quarter time, it was too little too late for the Thunder.
Thunder’s Jason Chainey was pleased at the girls’ efforts compared to the Bulleen game but noted Logan’s biggest factor was their inconsistency “we play in patches”. But he maintained confidence in his team, “I think we’re a better team than we showed tonight”.
Sydney Uni Coach Karen Dalton was happy with the 100 point score but said “defensive lapses are what’s hurting us… 86 points is too much”
After leading by 9 at the first turn, the Flames rained down on the Thunder in the second quarter launching a 13-0 scoring run in the first few minutes. After scoring off some Logan turnovers the Flames stretched their lead to 23.
Sarah Graham tried to recoup Logan’s losses with two buckets in two possessions bumping her up into the top scorers for Logan with an impressive 100% from both the field and 3-point line. The Flames’ Deanna Smith also stood out in the half, missing only one field goal and scoring 15 points.
Logan came out fighting in the second half starting with a 6-0 offensive run. But the Flames took hold maintaining a double figure lead for the whole period.
Despite a slight height advantage Polish Centre Marta Dydek could not contain the force of Batkovic-Brown who scored 7 points in only 8 minutes court-time. A Buzzer beater from Sydney Uni’s Ellie Manou solidified the lead at 25 at the last break, the biggest of the match.
In a last quarter comeback effort, Logan outscored Sydney Uni 15-10 in the first 5 minutes. Kristen Veal led the attack with some long range threes to help the Thunder outscore Sydney in the final quarter but the damage was already done.
Logan will get a chance to redeem themselves when they meet the Flames in Sydney again on January 29.
ACUVUE SYDNEY UNI FLAMES 101 (S Batkovic-Brown 30, D Smith 22, M Dombkins 19) bt BDS LOGAN THUNDER 86 (K Veal 23, S Graham 18, N Purcell 12) At ACUVUE Sports Hall, Sydney
By Bec Landon for WNBL Media
Photo courtesy of Kimages