Lauren Mansfield sparks Flames to WNBL win

·2-min read

Lauren Mansfield has put in a star turn to guide the Sydney Uni Flames to a comfortable 37-point win over the Bendigo Spirit in the WNBL.

The Opals point guard was a thorn in the Spirit's side throughout at the Townsville Stadium, helping herself to 24 points and laying up five assists as the Flames sparked into life in the second half to win 100-63.

She was ably assisted by the impressive Funda Nakkasoglu, who scored 14 points and tormented the tiring Spirit with her direct approach.

In the final quarter, the Flames piled on 16 points without reply against demoralised opponents who were never able to match their promising showing in the opening period.

The result gives Sydney their first win of the condensed eight-team, six-week WNBL campaign, which is taking place in a North Queensland hub as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

They lost their opener 85-70 to the Melbourne Boomers on Thursday.

Mansfield was delighted with her performance, but said the Flames' attention will turn immediately to Sunday's clash with the Liz Cambage-led Southside Flyers.

"We'll review the game," she said. "We're looking to build, we know it's a process and we want to get better each time we get on the court.

"It's always nice when you make your shots. I was feeling very confident ... it's a lot of fun when you can play that way.

"We've got a big game tomorrow and we've really got to concentrate on our recovery so we're ready to go."

Opal Tessa Lavey did her best to inspire Bendigo, notching up 15 points and 10 assists, but following on from their 42-point humbling by Southside in Thursday's opening match, it has been a tough start for Tracy York's side.

They next face UC Capitals on Monday evening in Mackay.