Spirit claim first win of WNBL season against Flames

25 November 2023 | Bendigo Spirit news

Bendigo Spirit are off the mark for season 2023-24.

The Spirit overcame a 15-point second-quarter deficit and the loss of captain Kelsey Griffin to prevail 82-66 over Sydney Flames at Red Energy Arena on Saturday.

After trailing for the majority of the opening half, Bendigo hit their straps after half-time to take the lead midway through the third quarter and never looked back.

Casey Samuels provided a real spark coming off the bench, finishing with 17 points – including three three-pointers – and seven rebounds in a game-defining performance.

Ally Wilson and Alicia Froling also scored 17 points apiece, while sharpshooter Abbey Wehrung hit all of her dozen points from outside the arc.

Bendigo were dealt a game-day blow with Griffin, who scored a career-high 33 points in last week’s heartbreaking loss to Melbourne Boomers in her comeback game, a late out.

But others stood up in her absence to help the Spirit claim their first win of the season after coming close several times across the first four games.

The home side went on a 9-0 run during the third quarter with Samuels and Froling in everything.

After blowing a double-digit three-quarter time last game against the Boomers, Bendigo weren’t going to let that happen again, storming home to cap off an impressive outing.

It was a fitting way to celebrate coach Kennedy Kereama’s 100th WNBL game.

The Spirit are back in action against Adelaide Lightning in Adelaide next Saturday.