Flames’ red-hot form continues against Capitals

January 19, 2024 | Sydney Flames news

The Sydney Flames made it three wins on the trot on Friday night, defeating the Canberra Capitals 90-65 at Quaycentre.

The round 12 victory, played in front of 1,077 fans, was set up by a balanced scoring effort where all five Flames starters scored in double-digits.

Match summary

Cayla George sparked the fire with a layup to put Sydney on the board, promptly equalised by Alexandra Fowler. It was three from Monica Okoye that saw the board tip in UC’s favour before contributions from Sydney’s Tess Madgen and Capitals Alex Sharp had the lead shifting. It was Lauren Nicholson, Madgen and Paige Bradley who ensured the lead went back into the Flames’ hands. Didi Richards put up a layup to draw the margin out to seven before time out. Alex Bunton came with a jump shot, quickly cancelled out by Emma Clarke and Paige Bradley. Late contributions from Sharp and Fowler had Sydney up by just one following the first (18-17).


Fouls in the Capitals’ favour saw the lead with UC early into the second, before Vanessa Panousis worked to bring it back to Sydney. Fouls in Sydney’s favour drew them ahead, before a three-point play from Jade Melbourne evened the score. It was a layup from Nicole Munger that tipped the score to the Capitals, with free throws drawing it back to even. Contributions from George and Clarke shifted the lead, with Madgen and Richards working to extend Sydney’s lead to six. Nicholson and Richards put up last-minute points, placing Sydney up by 12 going into half-time (42-30). 

Back-to-back doubles for Richards opened up the second half, with an and-one from George extending Sydney’s lead to 19. A layup from Bradley broke Sydney into the 20s before three for Sharp pushed the Flames back. Traded baskets kept the gap stable before jump shots from Fowler and Jayda Clarke had the Capitals clawing back into the game. Nicholson and Madgen linked up with threes, to extend Sydney’s lead to 23. Continuing to cook, Nicholson came with a lay-up, Sharp Shutting her down with three, to see Sydney up by 20 before the final quarter (69-49).

A layup from Jade Kirisome kicked the final quarter off, her efforts unable to compete with Bradley and George, as they followed with a (6-0) run. George continued her masterclass with a jump shot, cancelling out fouls in UC’s favour. Back-to-back jump shots from Bradley, were shut down by Okoye and Clark, with jump shots of their own. Isla Juffermans came off the bench with fire, putting up a layup and birthday girl Carla Pitman hit five straight points in her debut. Abby Solway matched with three, though Pitman fought back with a layup. A three-point play from Kirisom closed the came up, the Flames walking away with a 25-point win. (90-65).

Where the match was decided 

The 25-point win was set up by statistical wins by the Flames in field goal percentage (59-32), free-throw percentage (100-80, with Sydney hitting all 14 shots from the charity stripe), assists (19-10), steals (8-4), blocks (5-2), points in the paint (58-28), points off turnovers (14-5) and fast-break points (8-0).

Key moment 

A huge third quarter, in which the Hoops Capital side outscored their opponents 27-19, set up the Flames’ 10th win of WNBL24.

Player of the game

Reigning WNBL MVP George led the way with yet another double-double (18 points and 10 rebounds), to go along with four steals, three blocks and two assists.

The other four starters Richards (16 points and four boards), Nicholson (15 points and five dimes), Bradley (14 points, six assists and five boards) and Madgen (14 points) all were exceptional in the harbour city side’s triumph.

Watch Guy Molloy and Didi Richards’ post-game press conference via Sydney Flames’ YouTube channel above. While you’re there, be sure to hit subscribe, to ensure you never miss out on any of our great videos.

What’s next

Guy Molloy’s side, who improve to 10-8, will once again play at Quaycente next week, hosting the Southside Flyers in a crucial fixture.

The round 13 match will tip off at 7.45pm AEDT, with tickets still available here.