The Roar
The Roar


Final quarter blitz keeps Flames in second

Roar Guru
21st January, 2017

A stunning fourth quarter surge has seen the Sydney Uni Flames consolidate second spot on the WNBL ladder with a convincing 90-78 win over the Perth Lynx at Bryden’s Stadium.

The Flames outscored the visitors 24-12 in the final term, turning a tied score line at the end of the third into a comfortable win, giving them a valuable season split against the third-placed Lynx.

Perth, despite leading by as much as eight points in the third quarter, never saw the lead in the final ten minutes. Flames guard Tahlia Tupaea had her best game of the season, scoring ten points (including seven in the fourth) and grabbing eight boards.

It was a game characterised by strong scoring bursts and some dynamic three-point shooting, with both teams shooting at an impressive 42 per cent from beyond the arc.

Asia Taylor kept her strong form alive, finishing with a game-high 32 points (11-19 FG), nine rebounds and four assists to claim player of the game honours. Leilani Mitchell was superb as well, dropping 17 points (7-12 FG) to go along with 11 assists, five rebounds and four steals. Jennifer Hamson proved the difference in the paint, blocking five shots, collecting seven rebounds as well as scoring ten points.

Carly Mijovic led the way for Perth with 22 points (4-8 3P) and eight rebounds. Sami Whitcomb had an off-night form the floor (10 points, 4-17 FG), but contributed strongly with six assists, three rebounds and six steals. Ruth Hamblin performed well, chipping in with 14 points (7-11 FG) and nine rebounds.

After a timid start, it was the Lynx that took the early ascendency, with back-to-back triples from Carly Mijovic giving the visitors an early 12-6 lead.

After some sloppy turnovers from both teams, the Flames managed to claw their way back from the deficit, going on an 11-4 run to close out the first term and lead 23-21 at the break, thanks to 11 points from Asia Taylor and 7 from Leilani Mitchell.


The highlight of the quarter came from a Flames steal, resulting in a tremendous dime on the breakaway from Belinda Snell to Mitchell.

A trifecta of long bombs to the visitors (including two from Antonia Edmondson) saw Perth start the second term with a bang, racing out to a 30-25 lead in the space of two minutes.

Not to be outdone, Tahlia Tupaea answered back for the Flames, sparking a 15-2 run highlighted by offensive pressure on the boards from Taylor and Jennifer Hamson, and a tremendous steal and assist from Mitchell to Taylor. That helped to give the Flames a 40-32 advantage midway through the second.

Continuing the trend of runs, the Lynx finished the quarter with one of their own, scoring 11 points to the Flames’ two to lead at the main break 43-42. Perth improved their turnover ratio, committing just the one for the quarter, while forcing Sydney into four mistakes.

The third period started with a flurry of threes from the visitors, with the hot-hands of Edmondson and Brianna Butler sending Perth out to a handy eight-point lead at the halfway point of the term.

A tight tussle ensued for the remainder of the quarter, before the Flames managed to level the scores up at 66 heading into the final term on the back of some individual brilliance from Mitchell.

Despite scores being locked with ten minutes to play, the Flames disregarded the previous flow of the game and pulled right away from Perth in the final term.


Back-to-back triples from Mitchell and Tahlia Tupaea sent the vocal crowd at Bryden’s Stadium into another gear, before a strong finish on the breakaway steal from the latter forced Perth coach Andy Stewart to call a timeout with his side trailing 78-68.

The Lynx got back to within four points with just over two minutes remaining courtesy of a three-pointer from Mijovic, but that was as close as they would get, as the Flames held their composure down the stretch to come away with a solid home win.