Statistics told the story when Adelaide Lightning accounted for the ACUVUE Sydney University Flames 90-76 in their Round 12 Women’s National Basketball League clash at the Dome in Adelaide on Friday night.
The Flames were guilty of 17 first-half turnovers and shot just 46 per cent from the free-throw line as the Lightning ended their four-game streak.
Sitting mid-table with a 7-7 win-loss record, the Flames have a three-week break to prepare for the second half of the season and a make or break push for the semi-finals.
Friday night’s encounter was always going to be a tough affair for the Flames, with the third-placed Lightning coming off a shock loss to Logan and enjoying a home court advantage.
They traded basket for basket in the opening term before a mid-court steal from Adelaide’s Cayla Francis set the hosts alight as the Flames turned over possession another nine times before the first break.
With Lindsey Pluimer shooting 6-of-8 from the field in the second term and captain Alicia Poto defending with aplomb, the Flames fought back to be seven points adrift at the main break.
They continued the fight-back in the third term and got to within a point of the hosts, who called a time-out to slow the momentum.
It worked, with Mia Newley coming off the bench to hit back-to-back three-pointers and give Adelaide a seven-point advantage.
Eva Afeaki and Pluimer kept the Flames in the hunt in the final quarter before Afeaki was fouled out. With another five of her team-mates on four or more fouls, Adelaide finished 14-point winners.
Adelaide Lightning 90 (Jessica Foley 22, Cayla Francis 16, Angela Marino 15) d Sydney University Flames 76 (Lindsey Pluimer 23, Eva Afeaki 20, Sally Potocki 17).
Round 13 – January 10, 2009: Sydney University Flames v Perth Lynx at Perry Lakes Stadium, Perth.