Graham Croker

The ACUVUE Sydney University Flames moved to second on the Women’s National Basketball League ladder on Sunday afternoon when they accounted for Canberra Capitals 76-66 at Southern Cross Stadium in Canberra.
After an indifferent start to the competition with a number of new faces on the roster, the Flames have now won six on the trot and eight from 11 for the season. And they are the only team to account for competition leaders Bulleen.
WNBL Player of the Week, Suzy Batkovic-Brown, again led the scoring for the Flames with a game-high 31points, while Deanna Smith (16) and Eva Afeaki (11) provided strong support.
Opals Jess Bibby (20) and Natalie Hurst (17) were the only Canberra players to crack double figures.
While the Flames led from pillar to post, they had some nervous moments in the final quarter when the Capitals edged to within six points with 38 seconds on the clock. But the hosts were forced to foul and send the Flames to the line, allowing the visitors to finish with a comfortable 10-point margin.
The win was sweet revenge for the Flames, who lost their Round 4 encounter with Canberra, but things could be tougher should they meet again in the final series. Watching from the bench on Sunday was Lauren Jackson, who has joined the Capitals for the remainder of the season.
Flames coach Karen Dalton has a short time to prepare her troops for their next match. The Flames will host the AIS at ACUVUE Sports Hall on Wednesday, with a 7pm tip-off.


ACUVUE Sydney University Flames 76 (Suzy Batkovic-Brown 31, Deanna Smith 16, Eva Afeaki 11) d Canberra Capitals 66 (Jess Bibby 20, Natalie Hurst 17, Chantella Perera 8, Carly Wilson 8) at Southern Cross Stadium, Canberra.