A vital loss at home to the Bulleen Boomers on Friday night has put added pressure on the Southern Design Sydney Uni Flames road trip north this weekend.
The Boomers were never headed after establishing a 25-13 opening term lead at the Sydney Uni Sports & Aquatic Centre and went on to record a comfortable 80-71 result.
With six matches to play before finals series begins, the Flames are now third on the competition ladder behind Adelaide and Bulleen. They face the daunting prospect of a match in Townsville against the fourth-place Fire on Friday night and an encounter with sixth-placed Logan on Sunday afternoon.
Logan have three games up their sleeve, while fifth-placed Bendigo have one game in hand, adding extra pressure on the Flames in the business end of the season. A pair of losses could have disastrous results on their finals prospects.
Bulleen came to Sydney on Friday night intent on avenging their round nine loss to the enigmatic Flames, and they made their intentions clear in the opening term.
Although the Flames battled back to within three points at the end of the third term, the visitors always held the upper hand.
Boomers’ centre Liz Cambage led the way for the winners with 23 points and 10 rebounds, while Rachel Jarry contributed 18 points, five rebounds, four blocks and three steals in a fine all-round performance.
Sam Richards added 16 points and four assists and Jo Leedham added 10 points and nine rebounds for the Boomers who took their season record to 11-4.
Amy Denson racked up the game top-score with 28 points, to go along with seven rebounds for the hosts, while Belinda Snell added 21 points.
With six games to play before the finals series begin on February 22, the Flames need to consolidate their position on the ladder to push for a home semi-final.
Round 14 sees the Flames take on Townsville at Townsville RSL Stadium on Friday, January 20 (7.30pm) and against Logan at Logan Metro on Sunday (2pm).
The Flames will host Canberra on Thursday, January 26 (6pm) and Dandenong on Friday, February 3 (7pm) before travelling south for a Round 17 match against Bendigo at Bendigo Stadium on Saturday, February 11 (7.30pm).
They round off the season by hosting West Coast in a Round 18 clash on Friday, February 17 (7pm).
Bulleen Boomers 80 (Liz Cambage 23, Rachel Jarry 18, Sam Richards 16) defeated Sydney Uni Flames 71 (Amy Denson 28, Belinda Snell 21)