Spirit fall short against Lynx in Perth
Bendigo Spirit fell short of their first win of the Women’s National Basketball League season, going down to the unbeaten Perth Lynx 86-76 in a hard-fought clash at Bendat Basketball Centre.
A quiet third quarter came back to hurt the Spirit, going from four points down to 11 which proved to be too big a gap to close despite a late fightback.
There were still plenty of highlights to take out of Bendigo’s performance, with Alicia Froling scoring a team-high 18 points and Abbey Wehrung (15), Mehryn Kraker (13) and Ally Wilson (10) also having an impact offensively.
Froling was also impressive in the paint, reeling in a whopping 11 rebounds to cap off a double-double performance.
The hosts took a 24-20 lead into quarter-time on the back of a 12-point opening term from in-form import Aari McDonald who finished with a game-high 34.
Froling started the second term strong, scoring back-to-back baskets to tie things up at 24-apiece amid an 8-0 run.
Froling became the first Spirit player on court to reach double digits soon after to give her side a 28-26 advantage during another momentum shift in a see-sawing contest.
The energetic Ally Wilson was in everything, producing some desperate team-lifting acts but it was again the Lynx leading by four points at the main break – 46-42.
The third quarter belonged to Perth, who quickly extended their lead to double figures as Emily Potter hit a purple patch.
Trailing 67-56 at three-quarter time, Bendigo came back hard early in the last term to make a game of it.
Kraker hit a clutch three with a little over four minutes on the clock to make it 77-72, but the Lynx seemed to have an answer for every surge the other way.
The Spirit travel to Melbourne on Saturday ahead of a match-up against Melbourne Boomers on Sunday.
Captain Kelsey Griffin is set to return from a hamstring injury in what will be a massive boost in the all-Victorian clash.