Spirit go down to Southside on the road
Bendigo’s winning run has come to an end at the hands of a powerful Southside Flyers outfit at Dandenong’s State Basketball Centre on Saturday night.
The Spirit couldn’t make it a hat-trick of WNBL victories, trailing from start to finish on the way to a 76-51 defeat.
The lop-sided rebounding count, which finished 56-33, was a major factor in the result, with Bendigo struggling to match it in the paint with the competition’s tallest team.
Captain Kelsey Griffin played a lone hand in the scoring department, hitting a game-high 16 points – including three three-pointers – to go with seven rebounds.
Alicia Froling (eight points and four rebounds) had some good moments at both ends of the floor, doing a decent job on WNBA star Mercedes Russell.
The Flyers got off to a flying start, scoring the first eight points of the match before a purple patch at the other end from Griffin.
Griffin got things rolling for the visitors with a triple on her way to six consecutive points.
But it was Southside who took the ascendancy before quarter-time to lead 17-7 in a low-scoring affair, capped off by a buzzer-beating three from Bec Cole.
After being on the wrong end of a 7-0 run, Bendigo got their offence going with Griffin’s layup soon followed by a big three from Mehryn Kraker.
Griffin had 11 first-half points but Southside, who led 39-21 at the main break, continued to dominate the rebounding count in a telling statistic.
Bendigo had a few highlights in the third quarter but couldn’t string it together for long enough as the deficit blew out to 25 – which was also the final margin – by three-quarter time.
The Spirit have back-to-back home games in Round 7, hosting Adelaide in Geelong on Friday before returning to Red Energy Arena to face Southside on Sunday.