Brydens Sydney Uni Flames, sparked by the support of a big home crowd, found their shooting range in the 4th Quarter to overcome the Deakin Melbourne Boomers, 86-78.
Forever chasing a 1st Quarter deficit, the Flames cranked up their defence and burst out of the blocks in the final quarter full of intent. A special 2016 promotion where the Flames hosted a pre-game camp for kids 8-17 years old, who then received free entry to the match, proved a winner in more ways than one as the excited crowd willed the Flames over the line.
Special mention goes to #30 Carolyn Swords who led the revival with some powerhouse offensive rebounds despite sitting on 4 fouls. When Swords left the action with five minutes to go she was top scorer for the Flames with 16 points. Into the void strode #4 Tahlia Tupaea with a sweet three-pointer and some fine attacking manoeuvres which arrested the momentum the Boomers had all game. Tupaea top scored for the Flames with 17 points; 1 Rebound and 3 Assists.
For the Boomers #41 Alice Kunek was peerless with a game –high 24 points. For much of the game the Flames could not stem the clinical scoring of Kunek who taunted the Flames from all distances, including 6 from 7 Free-Throws. Revered Boomers Captain, #9 Tess Madgen, is beginning to show the drive and grit she is renowned for as she continues her return from injury compiling 16 points; 3 Assists and 3 Turnovers.
It seemed like the Boomers higher percentage of three-pointers might take the day but in the end things evened out with the Flames netting 10 from 22 and the Boomers 11 from 24. The crowd leapt to their feet for every downtown basket. #7 Alex Wilson, off the bench for the Flames, was in the zone with her long-throws nailing 4 from 4.
Six players for the Flames achieved 10 or more points compared to three for the Boomers, and this spread of scoring and the threat it posed was a key factor in the outcome. This was the third and final meeting for these teams this regular season.
There is no pausing for breath in this Wattle Valley WNBL season as the Flames are back at Brydens Stadium this Thursday night to tackle Perth Lynx in a top of the table showdown, January 7, with a 7.00pm tip-off. The Lynx beat the Flames in Perth, way back in Round 1, and this has not been forgotten.