Graham Croker

There was no time for sight-seeing when Logan Thunder ventured south on the toughest of road trips at the weekend for matches against first-placed Bulleen in Melbourne and second-placed ACUVUE Sydney University Flames in Sydney.
The southern Queensland franchise succumbed 108-58 to the competition leaders on Friday night and 101-86 to the Flames on Saturday.
Suzy Batkovic-Brown, the WNBL December Player of the Month posted a game-high 30 points for the Flames, while former Flame Kristen Veal top-scored for Logan with a 23-point haul.
Sydney University coach Karen Dalton was once again pleased with the Flames’ ability to post points, but was unhappy with their defensive effort.
“I’m happy with the 100-point score, but defensive lapses are hurting us . . . . 86 points is too much,” she said.
Thunder coach Jason Chainey was pleased with the effort after the big loss to Bulleen the previous night. “But we’re too inconsistent, we play in patches,” he said. “I think we’re a better team than we showed tonight.”
The teams traded basket for basket in the opening salvo before the Flames edged ahead to lead by nine at the first break.
They stretched that with a 13-0 blitz in the opening of the second term and went to the main break with a 23-point lead.
Logan came out fighting in the third term, starting with a 6-0 offensive run. But the Flames maintained a double figure lead for the period.
Logan finally began to build some momentum in the final quarter, outscoring Sydney University 26-16 thanks to some Veal three-pointers, but after trailing by 25 points at three-quarter time, it was too little too late for the visitors.
Logan will get a chance for redemption when they meet the Flames in Sydney again on January 29.
Meanwhile, the Flames will travel to Canberra to meet last-placed AIS at AIS Training Hall on Friday night, and third-placed Canberra Capitals at AIS Arena on Saturday night, with 7pm tip-offs for each match.


ACUVUE Sydney University Flames 101 (Suzy Batkovic-Brown 30, Deanne Smith 22, Mikaela Dombkins 19) d Logan Thunder 86 (Kristen Veal 23, Sarah Graham 18, Natalie Purcell 12) at ACUVUE Sports Hall, Sydney University Sports and Fitness Centre.