The Perth Lynx were challenged by the Sydney Flames for the majority of the game, and despite trailing in the last quarter, the Lynx found a way in the last quarter, hitting clutch shots at clutch moments.
Hosting Sydney at the Bendat Basketball Centre, Perth was looking to build from its strong round two win over Canberra. Whilst Sydney was looking to improve from its tough loss against Bendigo.
Both teams went at it for the first few minutes of the first quarter, going basket for basket and applying tight defensive pressure.
The Flames’ chemistry clicked offensively early, with Jocelyn Willoughby looking dangerous in the post, while Keely Froling, Tiana Mangakahia, and Hannah Sjervan fired inside and drove to the basket strongly.
Whilst both teams had little runs of their own, the Lynx came back strongly late in the quarter, to lead by one at quarter time. With Sami Whitcomb running the floor, Lauren Scherf went to work in the low block, with one block and three rebounds.
For the majority of the second quarter, both sides ran the pace at an up-and-down tempo speed, with both teams moving the ball well, sticking tight defensively, and getting stops.
The Lynx maintained a six-point margin at halftime, finishing the second quarter strongly, converting off the Flames’ turnovers, and shooting the three ball strongly.
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The battle between Scherf and Willoughby continued to be an enthralling matchup, with Scherf finishing the half with nine points, five rebounds and three assists. Whilst Willoughby finished the half with 14 points.
Whilst both teams shot the ball reasonably from the field, Perth’s three-point shooting (40 per cent) was the difference, compared to Sydney’s 18 per cent.
Sloppy turnovers proved costly for the Flames in the third quarter, resulting in easy baskets for the Lynx. Perth dominated on the glass, forcing Sydney into tough shots.
Late three-point shots from Mangakahia and Willoughby kept the Flames in the contest, with the Lynx taking a one-point lead at three-quarter time.
Whitcomb and Amy Atwell came in clutch for Perth in the last quarter, stepping up defensively and hitting tough shots at clutch moments. The Lynx were challenged in the early stages of the last quarter, with Froling and Shyla Heal stepping up.
Alex Sharp made an impact in the last quarter, providing another option offensively and hitting shots to ensure keep the Lynx in the contest.
The Flames were resilient, but had opportunities throughout the match to hit baskets but were unable to hit any shots, allowing the Lynx to hold on to win, 80-72.
Chloe Bibby and Amy Atwell top scored for the Lynx, with 15 points each, both shooting the ball at 50 per cent from the field, whilst Lauren Scherf finished with a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds.
The Flames finished the game with three players in double figures, with Hannah Sjervan, Jocelyn Willoughby and Keely Froling top-scoring for the Flames.
The Lynx now have a two-week break before facing the Melbourne Boomers at home on December 2, whilst the Flames head to Adelaide to face the Lightning on Saturday to finish their Round 3 doubleheader.
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