Flames fall to Lynx in season opener
The Sydney Flames have opened their WNBL24 season with a loss, going down 85-71 to the Perth Lynx at the Bendat Basketball Centre.
Perth raced out to an 11-4 lead in the Indigenous Round fixture, with the first four for the Flames coming off the hands of Didi Richards. That deficit for the Flames grew to 17-6 but four quick points off the bench by Lara McSpadden. Despite this, the Flames trialled by seven (20-13) at quarter-time.
An 8-5 start to the second, led by Cayla George, saw the Hoops Capital side power back into the round one contest. Sydney got it back to 30-27 midway through the period but an 8-0 run at the end of the term saw the hosts lead by nine (38-29) at the main break.
Guy Molloy’s side closed the gap at the start of the third, thanks to a 6-1 run and tough defence. Another sharp backdoor pass by George to forward Kiera Rowe led to an and-one, seeing the harbour city side made it 43-37. Two triples by Lynx’ Mackenizie Clinch Hoyard kept the hosts’ noses in front – with a Stephanie Gorman’s effort from downtown making it a 10-point game. Despite a late and-one by Emma Clarke, Perth led 56-47 at the final change.
a coupla AND ONESSSSS
— Sydney Flames (@TheSydneyFlames) November 3, 2023
Sydney scored seven of the first 10 points of the fourth, sparked by Lauren Nicholson – who was doing it from inside the paint and downtown. But the Flames couldn’t stop the Lynx scoring at key moments in the fourth, as they moved out to as many as 14. In the end, Perth ran out winners 85-71
Where the match was decided
Perth outlasted Sydney due to statistical victories in field goal percentage (43-36), rebounds (48-43) and fast-break points (23-5).
The Lynx’s strong start, where the outscored the Flames by seven points in the first quarter, laid the platform for the round one win.
Player of the game
In her first game back in Sydney, Nicholson starred for the Flames with 17 points, six rebounds, six assists and one steal.
The only other two Flames to score in double figures were Clarke and McSpadden, who both finished with 10.
Molloy’s side are again on the road in round two, travelling to Mildura to take on the Bendigo Spirit from 7.30pm AEDT on Friday, September 10.
Two days later though, they return home to Sydney to play for the first of four Hoops Capital double-headers at Qudos Bank Arena – battling the Melbourne Boomers from 1.30pm AEDT before the Kings play the Bullets at 4pm.