George powers Flames to Pink Hoops win over Lynx

January 14, 2024 | Sydney Flames news

The Sydney Flames secured a massive 87-84 victory against the Perth Lynx on Sunday, during the club’s inaugural Pink Hoops clash at Qudos Bank Arena.

The thrilling victory played in front of a league season record 5,138 fans, was set up by a dominant display by reigning WNBL MVP Cayla George, who was named the first-ever Tiana Mangakahia MVP Award winner.

En route to their win, the Flamnes hit 10 triples, meaning a donation of $4,570 to the McGrath Foundation by club sponsors Harvey Norman, Cygnett, Beyond Bank and Carma.

Match summary

Cayla George opened the quarter up for the Flames, Amy Atwell following to tie the score. Three from Tess Madgen saw Sydney draw ahead, though fouls in Perth’s favour, and contributions from Emily Potter had the score tipping Perth’s way. Back-to-back doubles from Lauren Nicholson had the Flames reclaiming the lead, with Didi Richards following to extend the points margin and cancel out Alex Ciabattonis’ efforts. Creativity from George and Richards placed the Flames up by three, though a jump shot from Maley evened the playing field. An (8-0) run from the Flames allowed the home team to close the period with an eight-point advantage (24-16). 


Eager to come back, four from Maley drew the Lynx back in, though three from George shut her down. Atwell’s jump shot was no match for Georges’ back-to-back threes, as the Flames maintained their eight-point lead. A layup from Ciabattoni was quick to break this, though Madgen and Nicholson showed up to place Sydney at a double-digit lead. Contributions from Goodchild and Mackenzie Clinch Hoycard pulled Perth back in, with Three for Richards sending them back down. Goodchild continued to make moves for Perth, bringing the points deficit to just five before three for George brought it back to eight. Sydney remained dominant, going into half-time up by four (45-41).

A layup from Richards kicked off the second half, matched quickly by Potter. Back-to-back lay-ups from Clarke and Paige Bradley and a jump shot from George had Sydney pulling away. Potter’s efforts were met by Clarke, as Perth remained at a nine point deficit going into time-out. Three for Clinch Hoycard and-one for Atwell saw the Cats clawing back onto the board before Richards and George ensured they remained at a safe distance. Nicholson was quick on the ball to pull Sydney up to 10 before Goodchild toppled this over. Richards and Bradley linked up to create movement for Sydney, though Teige Morrel and Atwell ensured Perth trailed by just seven going into the final ten. (68-61).

Traded baskets between Atwell and George started the final minutes, with a layup from George pulling the Flames up. Ciabattoni put up points for Perth, with Bradley quick to shut her down. Contributions from Potter and Clinch Hoycard drew the points gap to just three, with Goodchild shutting down George to keep the gap small. Three for Atwell and a jump shot from Goodchild pushed the lead into Perth’s hands for the first time in three quarters. It was free throws that saw the lead back in Sydney’s grasp before Atwell had the board all tied up. Three for Bradley tipped the score back to the Flames, and the score remained tight into the final seconds, as Sydney walked away with just three points on Perth to win their eighth game of the WNBL24 season.

Where the match was decided 

The Hoops Capital side secured the impressive win thanks to statistical victories in field goal percentage (50-45), three-point percentage (37-30), assists (21-17), steals (9-6), points off turnovers (18-5) and fast-break points (14-0) – while committing less turnovers (15-8).

Key moment 

A huge triple by Bradley, with 47 seconds to play, followed by clutch scores by Nicholson, proved the difference in the round 11 contest.

Player of the game

George was phenomenal on Sunday, finishing with a season-high 28 points, to go with 10 rebounds and three assists.

Other standouts in the crucial triumph were Bradley (18 points and six assists), Richards (17 points and four dimes) and Nicholson (12 points and seven boards).

What’s next

The win by Guy Molloy’s side, which moves them to 8-8 on the season, now have two games in three days at Quaycentre, firstly against Adelaide (Wednesday) and Canberra (Friday)- which both tip-off at 6.45pm AEDT.

Tickets to the round 12 matches are still available here.