Mansfield shoots Flames to first win over Spirit

November 14, 2020 | WNBL news

A stunning three-point shooting display from star point guard Lauren Mansfield has guided the Brydens Sydney Uni Flames to their first win of the 2020 Chemist Warehouse WNBL season, beating the Villawood Properties Bendigo Spirit 100-63 in Townsville on Saturday.

Both the Flames and Spirit were desperate to bounce back from opening night losses to the Deakin Melbourne Boomers and Jayco Southside Flyers respectively, and the point guard battle between Opals Lauren Mansfield and Tessa Lavey was always going to be fascinating too.

It didn’t disappoint with Mansfield catching fire with four three-point bombs in the first quarter.

She ended up going 7/10 from deep for 24 points with five assists and four rebounds. Lavey held up her end of the bargain too for the Spirit flirting with a triple-double for 15 points, 10 assists and six rebounds.

The difference from there was the amount of help Mansfield received and the Flames would go on to win by 37 on the back of hitting the game’s last 16 points.

The Flames ended up with 54 rebounds to just 38 from the Spirit while getting to the foul line 29 times to 14 on the back of 44 points in the paint to 30 and 19 points from the 19 turnovers they forced Bendigo into.

Ali Schwagmeyer-Belger scored eight of her 12 points in the first period while Funda Nakkasoglu was exciting with 14 points and Nat Burton delivered 10 points and eight rebounds in 17 minutes.

Anneli Maley added nine points and four rebounds, Carly Boag seven points and six boards, Christina Boag seven points and three rebounds, and Lauren Scherf seven points and five boards.

Sydney Uni coach Katrina Hibbert was delighted with the performance.

“We knew what we were capable and we had glimpses of really good basketball against Boomers, and now against Bendigo we showed what we’re capable of,” Hibbert said.

“I’m really proud of the girls for getting our first W and now we move onto Southside tomorrow. We know they are going to be tough but with confidence going into that game now, who knows. Everyone loves an underdog.”

Carley Ernst again battled hard for Bendigo with 14 points while Paige Price contributed 11 points, Mary Goulding seven (six rebounds), Alicia Froling six (five boards), and Jennie Rintala six (four rebounds).

While Bendigo coach Tracy York was reasonably happy with the effort first up against the Flyers, that wasn’t the case against the Flames.

“We were really disappointed. I actually thought we got outplayed in all areas including the effort areas that I thought we should be better at,” York said.

“It’s a similar scoreline to Southside but it isn’t the same calibre of team so we are disappointed of every area. As a team we need all 12 players picking up in every area of the court which I think we can get.”

The Flames now have a lightning quick turnaround to playing the Southside Flyers also in Townsville on Sunday while the Spirit are next in action on Monday in Mackay against defending champions the UC Capitals.

Chris Pike is a freelance journalist for WNBL.basketball

 

BOX SCORE

Brydens Sydney Uni Flames – 100 (Mansfield 24, Nakkasoglu 14, Schwagmeyer-Belger 12)

Villawood Properties Bendigo Spirit – 63 (Lavey 15, Ernst 14, Price 11)