Flames test Perth in a hard fought battle
The Brydens Sydney Uni Flames put the Perth Lynx to the test, falling short in a 72-84 loss.
The two stars for the Flames were Keely Froling and Morgan Yaeger. Froling continued her dominance with 19 points and 12 rebounds while development player Yaeger had a breakout performance with 18 points and four three-pointers.
The Lynx scored an unanswered 12 straight points to start the game but the Flames rallied back quickly. A standout early was Yaeger, she scored 10 points in the first half and flipped the momentum in the favour of the Flames.
Perth was desperate from the last match, they came out of the gate playing full pressure defence and locking down the Flames’ key scorers.
Jackie Young was giving the Flames trouble, she hit mid-ranger after mid-ranger in the Flames face. Kiera Rowe has been the Flames defensive stopper all season and made the WNBA no. 1 picks job difficult. She finished the game with 17 points.
The Flames came out of halftime roaring, scoring 15 points in the first five minutes of the third quarter. Keely Froling went to work, driving straight into the Lynx’s defence and scoring over the top.
Opals captain Sami Whitcomb was on fire, hitting multiple three-pointers from a foot behind the line while facilitating Perth’s hostile offence.
Froling and Kalani Purcell’s hustle was unmatched, scrapping for every rebound the Flames’ backcourt was taking on the challenge.
A quick five points from Shyla Heal got the Flames within distance to make a real run after a near 20-point deficit at the half.
The Flames were only behind by four before the Lynx went on a run, closing the game out. But Perth couldn’t take their foot off the peddle, the Flames played until the final seconds but couldn’t keep up with the Lynx’s fire power.
Post-game assistant coach Shelly Gorman spoke about the close loss.
“They had two of their starters back, [Marina] Mabrey and [Lauren] Schref. And I think we struggled to score,” she said.
“I think in the second half we really came back and really engaged in the battle hard. We were there with a chance but we just struggled to score.
Gorman was especially proud of the fight the Flames put up, to come back to from a 24-point deficit to get it within five was a big effort according to Gorman.
“I was really proud of the fight. They could have easily given up but they didn’t say ‘oh well it’s too hard’, they came out and played hard,” she said.
“We nearly caught them and you have to be so proud of the effort they put in tonight but also what they’ve put in all season.”
The Flames will play their last game of the season in our Indigenous Round home game on Sunday, March 20 at 2pm at Brydens Stadium. If you haven’t already get your tickets here.
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