Bendigo lose to fast-finishing Flames

22 December 2023 | Bendigo Spirit news

Bendigo have suffered a 79-67 loss to a fast-finishing Sydney Flames at Quay Centre on Friday night.

Leading by as much as 10 early in the second half, the Spirit couldn’t keep it going for four quarters as the Flames claimed the series 2-1.

The scoring really dried up for Bendigo after half-time, with just 16 points and a massive drop in field-goal percentage, as a 51-43 advantage quickly evaporated.

Reigning WNBL MVP Cayla George (17 points, nine assists and eight rebounds) returned to her brilliant best offensively for the Flames, with Lauren Nicholson not far behind with a game-high 20 points to go with six rebounds and four assists.

Captain Kelsey Griffin battled hard for the Spirit, scoring a team-high 14 points to go with six rebounds and four assists.

Centre Ruth Davis played her part in the paint with 11 points and seven rebounds, while Casey Samuels (12 points) hit four triples.

It was raining threes at both ends of the court in a fast-paced opening term with Abbey Wehrung living up to her name as a sharpshooter, nailing back-to-back triples.

Samuels provided some firepower off the bench midway through the second term and was deadly from outside the arc.

The Flames had no answers for Griffin’s early dominance, with the Bendigo superstar proving a real handful on the way to double-digit first-half points.

The third quarter belonged to the home side, who clawed their way back to level the scores at 60 apiece before taking the lead 62-60 just before the final change.

Nicholson was the instigator, taking her tally to 18, before George took over in the final term to keep the Flames’ winning run rolling.

The Spirit have an eight-day gap before their next clash against Melbourne Boomers at Parkville Stadium.