Perth dent University’s finals hopes

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Perth captain Deanna Smith led from the front with a 32-point haul as the Lynx outlasted the ACUVUE Sydney University Flames to post a 91-85 win in their round 13 Women’s National Basketball League clash at Perry Lakes Stadium, Perth on Saturday night.
Although playing host, the Lynx win was considered an upset. Going into the match with five wins from 15 outings and lying eight on the table, against the Flames’ record of seven from 15, pundits had posted the visitors as favourites.
And they almost lived up to the tag in the final quarter when they culled the home side’s nine-point advantage to a single point with a minute to go. But the hosts rallied to triumph by six.
The Lynx had led at every break in a game played in stifling heat, with Smith adding 12 rebounds to her 32-point haul. Kaye Tucker, Ashley Gilmore and Rebecca Mercer also posted double figures for the hosts.
Flames captain Alicia Poto mirrored her rival, topsoring with 25 points and taking the visitors within a whisker of victory in a see-sawing final quarter.
After withstanding some early pressure, the Lynx went into the first break with a five-point lead on the back of three-points from Mercer and Smith.
The Flames levelled the scores three minutes from half-time but a long bomb from Smith put the Lynx in front at the main break.
They built that to a nine-point advantage going into the final break and absorbed a Flames fightback in the final term to post their fifth win of the season.
It was a costly loss for the Flames, who will need to regroup before taking on second-last placed Logan Thunder, in Brisbane on Sunday night.
Perth Lynx 91 (Deanna Smith 32, Ashley Gilmore 15, Rebecca Mercer 14) def Sydney University Flames 85 (Alicia Poto 25, Rhonda Price 20, Lindsey Pluimer 15).