Game review: Adelaide take the win at Brydens Stadium
In our first game back at Brydens Stadium in over 700 days, the Flames had a tough night against the Adelaide Lightning who won 77-52.
The Flames have had almost a month between games, with their last game being on December 22nd due to multiple COVID postponements.
This was WNBA 9th overall pick Rennia Davis’ first game in the WNBL and for the Flames, the American import forward is coming off a foot injury that side-lined her WNBA rookie season for the Minnesota Lynx.
She played 13:53 minutes and showed glimpses of being a dangerous two-way threat for the Flames this season. Scoring seven points and playing solid defence.
Shyla Heal was the Flames’ best player, scoring 13 points and grabbing seven rebounds with four dimes. But the Lightning’s defence held her to 4-17 from the field, Adelaide controlled the game with their stellar ball movement and fundamental defence.
The first quarter didn’t have a single basket until two minutes in, with a great hustle effort from the team. It started with a steal from Heal, an offensive board from Kiera Rowe and then co-captain Lauren Mansfield drove and finished with an and-one.
Adelaide’s first quarter was a joint effort. Scoring 19 points with their leading scorer, last season’s MVP Steph Talbot, led the quarter scoring six points and dishing three assists.
It was an ice-cold start in the second quarter for both teams, neither team scoring until four minutes in with Heal cracking the margins open with a free throw. The Flames’ defence is what kept them in the game, they forced turnovers and shot clock violations which speaks to what Coach Heal has been pushing all season.
In the quarter, they held the Lightning to 5-12 from the field, but the offence still struggled with the Flames only scoring six points.
The Flames only had one assist and shot 1-14 from the three-point line going into the second half, where the Lightning took over the game.
The second half was a struggle, the Lightning scored 24 points from great team basketball, passing and moving off the ball. This caused the Flames trouble in the third quarter.
By that point, the Lightning had secured the win. Four players scored 10 points or more, with Talbot scoring a game-high 19 points, nine rebounds and seven assists.
Post-game Flames media spoke with Kiera Rowe and coach Shane Heal.
Rowe spoke about reinforcing the communication on the court as well as relying more on the pregame scouting. Making sure that the team knew what both the Flames’ offence will look like and the Lightnings.
“There’s a lot to learn from this game,” Rowe said.
“We have to take our game to a whole other level. Starting with the intensity really, communication and take it back to the start.”
Coach Heal elaborated speaking on the Flames’ season progress so far and how they prepare for the game against the Perth Lynx on Sunday.
“We are a long way away from the best teams in the league,” he said.
“We have to start making some shots, that’s been a struggle all season. We have had a couple of imports out so that makes it tough, but our shooting percentages have been bad. We are now going up the most potent offensive team in the league [Perth Lynx] so it’s going to be a challenge.”
Our next game is against the Perth Lynx, at Qudos Bank Arena in a Kings curtain-raising double header on Sunday at 3.30pm.