Team defence key to Sparks winning ways

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The Sydney Uni Sparks put together their most complete performance of the season, taking down the Sandringham Sabres 87-52, in Round 15. They are now sitting third in the Eastern conference, two wins clear of Nunawading who are in fourth.

The Sparks took control of the match from the outset and took a 22-14 lead into the first break. They continued to apply defensive pressure and executed well on offence, further extending their lead to 18 points at half time.

Offence continued to flow for the Sparks after the main break, as they put together a huge 27 point third quarter. Leading 72-42 at three quarter time, the message from Coach Dalton was to continue to apply pressure and win the last quarter. The Sparks were able to follow instructions and as a result, had their largest win of the season.

Defence was a key factor for the young Sparks, who showed a lot more discipline than in previous weeks. Each player took ownership, containing their man and they worked together to get stops. The Sparks also led the rebound count 45-35 and moved the ball well on offence, tallying 19 assists.

Sydney Uni head coach, Karen Dalton, was pleased with her team’s performance. “I’m really happy with the result. The girls did a great job following the game plan and worked really hard on the defensive end.”

“I’m also happy with the continued development of our young team,” Dalton added. As a group, the young Sparks have shown vast improvement from the beginning of the season, particularly on the defensive end.

There were also some outstanding individual performances from the Sparks. Shanae Greaves dominated inside the paint, posting a double-double, with 19 points and 13 rebounds. Sharp shooting Sarah Graham was unstoppable from beyond the arc, scoring 24 points with a 71% 3-point percentage. Kim Hodge also had a great night adding 13 points and 10 rebounds.

Next week, Sandringham will be looking for revenge as the two teams go head to head in Round 16. The Sparks will need to put together another consistent performance when they take on the Sabres, in Sandringham on Saturday 22nd July.

The Sparks will round out their road double header this weekend against the Melbourne Tigers on Sunday 23rd July.