Flames defeat UC Caps twice in three days
The Brydens Sydney Uni Flames have convincingly edged ahead in the ‘Battle of the Unis’, defeating the Canberra Capitals at home, 81-62.
Buoyed by the return from injury of chief play-maker and current Opal, Katie Rae- Ebzery, the Flames charged to a 22-9 Quarter 1 lead. The Capitals stemmed the flow in Quarters 2 and 3, narrowing the margin to just 10 points; however the Flames finished with a flourish to take the all-important 4th Quarter, 23 points to 14.
Spurred by the presence of the Sydney University Marching Band in the stand belting it out during breaks in play, the Flames returned to their real strength – the team game.
All starting five Flames players hit double figures, with Asia Taylor hitting a game-high 18 points and 10 rebounds. Taylor is enjoying a season to remember after a monstrous-debut with the Flames in 2016/17. Compatriot, Jennifer Hamson was at her best as she locked up the key, rebuffing the Capitals with 6 powerhouse blocks in addition to her 13 points and 10 rebounds. The signature Flames combination of Hamson and Taylor hurt the Capitals just when they were searching for a way to level the scores. Conductor, Belinda Snell was her ever-commanding self all over the court claiming the double-double, with 16 points and 10 rebounds, the third Flames player to achieve this feat on the night.
The Canberra Capitals seemed intent on hoping the Flames might run out of fuel being their third game in six days as they went to their backing group early. Indeed, half-way through Quarter 1 all five Canberra starters had been substituted as they tried to move the ball quickly and unsettle the Flames tempo. While the Flames did look a touch ragged at times in the middle section of the clash they shrugged off any fatigue to finish the stronger of the two sides.
Mistie Bass was highest scorer for Canberra with 15, ably supported by Jordan Hooper who joined the match double-double quartet with 14 points and 11 bounds. Rachel Jarry also made her presence felt in a duel with the athletic Taylor that typified the physicality of the encounter.
The Flames were able to come away with the Round 5 double, defeating the University of Canberra Capitals again on Saturday in Canberra, 81-72.
Despite both contests ending in a win for the Flames, the tale of the two games was quite different. On Thursday night, the Flames led from the beginning and were up by 13 points at quarter time. Although it was a tough match, they never particularly looked threatened on the scoreboard.
However, Saturday’s game was a much tighter contest. On a stretch of four games in eight days, the Flames seemed to be showing signs of fatigue early. Within the first six minutes, the Capitals put on an impressive offensive display and jumped out to a 17-9 lead.
At this point, the Flames began to lift their intensity and by half time trailed by only 2 points. The lead changed multiple times in the third and the beginning of the fourth, before the Flames ran away 9 point victors in the final couple of minutes.
Asia Taylor was once again unstoppable for the Flames, finishing with 27 points and 7 rebounds. Jen Hamson protected the rim exceptionally well as she pulled down 15 boards, to go with 8 points and 3 blocks. While Veteran, Belinda Snell played all 40 minutes contributing 14 points, 7 assists and 7 rebounds.
For the Capitals, Nat Hurst was tough, leading her team with 13 points and 8 assists.
After two wins in Round 5, the Flames now sit on top of the WNBL leader board, one win ahead of the Adelaide Lightning and Townsville Fire.
The Flames are back on the road against the Bendigo Spirit this Thursday November 9th at 7pm, before returning home to Brydens Stadium on Saturday to take on the Melbourne Boomers. Saturday’s game will be televised live on Fox Sports at 3.00pm. Tickets available HERE.
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