The Brydens Sydney Uni Flames didn’t have an ideal start to the New Year after suffering a loss to the Dandenong Rangers on Saturday afternoon, 78 – 93 at Brydens Stadium.
The Rangers, who had a shaky opening couple of games, demonstrated their new found form against the Flames who never stood a chance after allowing the away side score 32 points in the opening quarter.
With the combined scoring prowess of Penny Taylor, Kathleen McLeod, Alice Kunek and Annalise Pickrel, the Flames were left chasing for most of the game as each of these players collected about 20 points.
The Flames troubles were compounded by a 13 point second quarter which enabled the Rangers to extend their lead to 16 by the major break. The Rangers were also damaging from the three point line shooting at 47% adding further to the home side’s troubles.
The second half saw an improved team however; the Flames locked down on defence and were able to get on a roll offensively at times. Despite these efforts Dandenong always looked firmly in control, committing fewer turnovers and dominating the rebound count.
Katie Ebzery put in a captains performance, leading her team in scoring with 23 points from 9 -19 shooting, while the Flames American duo in Johnson and Ruef provided solid performances with 12 and 15 points respectively.
Penny Taylor was undoubtedly named player of the match with her all round performance which saw her collect 21 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 blocks in her 34 minutes of play. She was everywhere on the court with her attacking drives to the basket and accurate permitter shooting. This resulted in her also being named the Wattle Valley WNBL Player of the Week.
Despite the unfortunate loss, the Flames are lucky to have the next two games at home which will enable them regroup and settle into the New Year. This week will also see the return of Rohanee Cox who is a vital contributor to the team both in her leadership and scoring. She also has the ability to match up against an array of tough opponents which should see the Flames better able to lock down in defence.
Support the Flames as they try to secure a place back in the top four this weekend when they meet the West Coast Waves on Saturday at 7:00pm at Brydens Stadium.