Boomers edge Flames in low-scoring contest

January 7, 2024 | Sydney Flames news

The Sydney Flames have dropped to 7-7 on the season after losing a low-scoring affair to the Melbourne Boomers 62-55 at Qudos Bank Arena on Sunday.

The round 10 contest was played in front of 3,432 fans, marking the largest Flames’ crowd of WNBL24.

Match summary

After a slow start to the first, a jump shot from Lauren Nicholson puts the Flames on the board, followed by Didi Richards as Sydney races to a 6-nil lead. Three for Paige Bradley was quickly followed by a layup from Jordin Canada, as the Boomers placed their first points on the board. Quick with the comeback, Keely Froling and Sara Blicavs clutched up to see the Boomers trail by two, though a layup from Cayla George pushed them back to four. Despite Sydney holding the lead for most of the first, a jump shot from Rocci and-one for Froling placed the Boomers ahead going into the second (13-11).

Three for Nicholson fired up the Flames’ comeback to place them back in the lead, though Penina Davidson quickly pulled up to tie the board, with a foul in Melbourne’s favour, tipping the score their way. A jump shot from Monique Conti drew the margin out to five before Bradley clutched up for the Flames to close it to two. Canada and Naz Hillmon prompted movement for the Boomers, placing them at a seven-point advantage, before a favourable foul and a jump shot Bradley closed the deficit to two. Richards and Nicholson canceled out efforts from Blicavs, as the Flames entered half-time down by just three (31-28).


Hillmon opened the quarter up for the Boomers, followed by Flames’ Nicholson and George, as Sydney stitched the points margin to one within the first minute. A jump shot from Richards tipped the board into Sydney’s favour and broke the scoring drought. Froling was quick to fight back, as a layup handed the lead back over to Melbourne. Contributions from Davidson and Conti built on the Boomers’ lead to place them at a seven-point advantage, though three from Emma Clarke knocked this down. Back-to-back free throws for Nicholson sparked hopes of a lead handover, though Hillmon ensured the Flames entered the final 10 down by four (46-42).

Richards and Clarke brought the fire for the final period, with early jump shots pulling the Flames up to just two, despite efforts from Reed. A lay up from Conti was matched quickly by Bradley, as the Flames fought to close the gap. Hillmon and Froling continued to make this task difficult for the Flames, as they pulled Melbournes lead to nine. A jump shot from Bradley prevented this lead from hitting the doubles, with Nicholson and Tess Madgen backing her up to keep the gap at five, following push back from Canada. Ultimately it was the Flames who were unable to handle the heat this week, falling by seven to the Boomers in round 10 of the WNBL24 season. 

Where the match was decided 

The two biggest statistical factors in the win for the Boomers were 36-20 in points in the paint and 22-9 in points in the paint.

Key moment 

A 12-7 run by the visitors, in the last 6.05 minutes, proved the difference in the tight contest.

Player of the game 

Nicholson top-scored for the Flames with 19 points, to go along with two rebounds and one assist.

The only other Flame to score in double figures was Bradley, who added 13 points, three dimes, two boards and two steals.

Special mention to Richards who collected a career-high 15 rebounds.

What’s next 

The fifth-placed Flames hit the road once again on Friday, travelling to the State Basketball Centre to battle the Southside Flyers from 7.30pm AEDT.

Tow days later, the Hoops Capital side will return to Sydney for the first-ever Pink Hoops at Qudos Bank Arena.

During that double-header supporting the McGrath Foundation, the Flames play Perth (1.15pm) and Kings take on New Zealand (3.45pm) – with tickets still available here.