Flames crush Capitals
By Laura Hanlon
The Brydens Sydney Uni Flames have convincingly edged ahead in the ‘Battle of the Unis’, defeating the Canberra Capitals at home, 81-62.
Buoyed by the return from injury of chief play-maker and current Opal, Katie Rae- Ebzery, the Flames charged to a 22-9 Quarter 1 lead. The Capitals stemmed the flow in Quarters 2 and 3, narrowing the margin to just 10 points; however the Flames finished with a flourish to take the all-important 4th Quarter, 23 points to 14.
Spurred by the presence of the Sydney University Marching Band in the stand belting it out during breaks in play, the Flames returned to their real strength – the team game.
All starting five Flames players hit double figures, with Asia Taylor hitting a game-high 18 points and 10 rebounds. Taylor is enjoying a season to remember after a monstrous-debut with the Flames in 2016/17. Compatriot, Jennifer Hamson was at her best as she locked up the key, rebuffing the Capitals with 6 powerhouse blocks in addition to her 13 points and 10 rebounds. The signature Flames combination of Hamson and Taylor hurt the Capitals just when they were searching for a way to level the scores. Conductor, Belinda Snell was her ever-commanding self all over the court claiming the double-double, with 16 points and 10 rebounds, the third Flames player to achieve this feat on the night.
The Canberra Capitals seemed intent on hoping the Flames might run out of fuel being their third game in six days as they went to their backing group early. Indeed, half-way through Quarter 1 all five Canberra starters had been substituted as they tried to move the ball quickly and unsettle the Flames tempo. While the Flames did look a touch ragged at times in the middle section of the clash they shrugged off any fatigue to finish the stronger of the two sides.
Mistie Bass was highest scorer for Canberra with 15, ably supported by Jordan Hooper who joined the match double-double quartet with 14 points and 11 bounds. Rachel Jarry also made her presence felt in a duel with the athletic Taylor that typified the physicality of the encounter.
In this new season format, where teams are playing multiple times each Round, both the Flames and the Capitals will need to focus on their recovery as they prepare for round 2 in the Battle of the Universities at the Canberra Convention Centre this Saturday, November 4, tip-off at 3.00pm. The game will be featured live on Fox Sports TV.