The Southern Design Sydney Uni Sparks have bounced back from a tough round in Tasmania, to defeat the Canberra Capitals Academy, 70-48. Venturing across town to play at the Hills Basketball Stadium, the Sparks were given a warm welcome by the fantastic crowd present. The victory places Sydney Uni back inside the top eight.
It was a shaky start from both teams with strong defensive pressure applied. In a low scoring first period, Sydney Uni finished the quarter leading, 13-12. Canberra retained the lead early in the second, but that would be the last time they would get their noses in front.
The Sparks took a five point lead into half time and from that point on took complete control of the game. Building in confidence with each quarter played, their patience on offence began to pay off. Once they were able to execute offensively, the Sparks piled on the points, outscoring their opposition 42-25 in the second half. In one of their most complete performances to date, the Sparks were also unrelenting on defence for the entire game, with 13 points the highest quarter total they would allow the Caps.
With strong emphasis placed on reducing turnovers and winning the rebound count, the Sparks were able to capitalise on these two areas. They took care of the ball, limiting turnovers to 12 for the game, giving themselves ample opportunity to make the most of their offensive sets. The Sparks were also dominant on the boards, out-rebounding the Capitals 47-27. Perhaps the most telling statistic was Sydney Uni’s ability to limit the Capitals offensive rebounds to just two, while pulling down 15 allowing for multiple second chance opportunities.
Susannah Walmsley found form in the second half, top scoring for the Sparks with 16 points and adding seven rebounds. Back on her home court at Hills, Sherrie Calleia had a breakout game with 15 points and three assists. Maddie O’Hehir also made some big plays for the Sparks, adding 13 points and two blocks.
The Sparks will look to take momentum into this weekend when they come up against Dandenong at 6pm on Saturday 2nd June at Brydens Stadium. Dandenong are sitting one win in front of the Sparks on the ladder.
Images courtesy of Geoff Tripp Photography.