Flyers torch the Flames in big WNBL win

Darren Snowdon
·2-min read

The Southside Flyers have bounced back from their opening loss of the WNBL season with a strong 99-72 victory over Sydney Uni Flames.

Both teams were backing up for their third match in four days at Townsville Stadium on Sunday but the Flyers proved too strong as they recorded their second win of the campaign.

The Flames threw down the challenge in a physical opening but Southside pulled away in the second half with Rebecca Cole (27 points) leading the charge.

After giving up an 18-point lead in Saturday's loss to Melbourne Boomers, Southside hit back hard when the Flames edged ahead in the second quarter to score 11 unanswered points and build an 11-point halftime lead.

The Flyers were deadly from three-point range with Cole and captain Jenna O'Hea (19 points, seven rebounds, eight assists) each hitting four triples, while Sara Blicavs (14 points, nine rebounds, three steals) was also on target from long distance.

Centre Liz Cambage started for Southside despite speculation she would not feature in back-to-back games but foul trouble restricted her to just nine minutes of court time.

Sydney Uni took the challenge up to Southside from the outset, typified by Anneli Maley's efforts on the offensive boards as her side outrebounded the Flyers 16-7 in the first quarter.

But Southside were more efficient on offence with Cole and O'Hea each landing two three-pointers to finish with a 29-25 advantage.

Momentum appeared to swing towards the Flames when Cambage picked up her third foul two minutes into the second term and a no-look pass from Lauren Mansfield allowed Nat Burton to give the Flames a narrow lead.

A quick time-out allowed the Flyers to settle and they responded with a damaging 11-0 run to set up a healthy 49-38 break at halftime.

A second offensive foul (and fourth overall) saw a frustrated Cambage head back to the bench in the third quarter but Southside's smaller line-ups picked up the pace, closing the term ahead 72-59 thanks to scoring bursts from O'Hea and Blicavs.

Cole ended any hopes of a Flames comeback with a devastating 10-point surge in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter as the Flyers powered home with a 27-13 final term.

Burton (12 points) was the only Sydney Uni player to score in double figures.