24/05/2024

The Townsville Fire powered past a struggling Sydney Uni Flames side. (Photo: WNBL website)

Townsville Fire turned it on as women's basketball legend Mia Murray celebrated her 200th game for her side.

The Townsville Fire’s Mia Murray has rung out her 200th game tonight in style with an electrifying win against the Sydney Uni Flames at Townsville Entertainment Centre.

The Fire have once again burnt the Flames and taking out the win 84 – 63 in an electrifying game, extending their winning streak against Sydney to 12 out of 13 games.

It was a gritty affair filled with aggression and high-tempo play for veteran Murray’s 200th game for her Townsville side. The 33-year-old has remained a critical part for the team, accumulating 314 games so far during her WNBL career.

Despite an initial scoring spree for the Flames as a result of Kalani Purcell (three points, 10 rebounds and four assists) and Keely Froling‘s (31 points and nine rebounds) heroics, their early impact on the game quickly sizzled out as the Fire managed to get on top of their defence.

Although the pressure was put on them, as demonstrated by a play where their opponents led them to defend for 24 seconds, the Fire broke through during the end of the first quarter and set up the thrilling contest.

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By the second quarter, Townsville had picked up where it had left off in the first as it fired off shots against Sydney and pushed its opponents to remain inactive on the scoreboard until a snap shot from Froling added to the board.

However, it wasn’t enough to keep away the Fire who were dominant in their aggression.

Fire international recruit in Monique Billings was critical in the 21 point win as she pocketed 11 points, along with three rebounds and two assists. Billings was most noticeable in the first half where she helped to keep the momentum going, scoring 80 per cent of shots from field.

Alongside the American powerhouse was Lauren Nicholson whose performance assisted the win as a result of her 23 points, six rebounds and five assists.

The Flames woes continued to run rampant in the second half, with their chance to win their second game of the season running slim as Townsville fired up on the court.

The high-tempo performance from Townsville was helped by Stephanie Reid who proved essential for her side collecting 17 points, three rebounds and five assists in her 31 minutes of play.

Whilst a tenacious front from the Flames was evident in the fourth seen through impressive passage of plays from the likes of Purcell and Funda Nakkasoglu (nine points, four rebounds and two assists), it wasn’t enough to stop Shannon Seebohm’s side who fought hard for the victory.

The late surge of buckets from the Flames proved costly for them as they fell against an on-fire Fire front.

The Flames head back to the drawing board following their defeat tonight, looking for brighter days next week when they go up against the Melbourne Boomers.

Meanwhile, Townsville are set to continue their red hot form when they take on the UC Capitals.

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