Lynx defeat Flames during Nicholson’s milestone match

December 13, 2023 | Sydney Flames news

The Sydney Flames suffered their fourth loss of the season on Wednesday, going down 98-58 to the Perth Lynx at the Bendat Basketball Centre. 

The result, in Lauren Nicholson’s 150th in the WNBL, sees the Hoops Capital side stay in fifth position 

Match summary  

Early buckets by Didi Richards and Cayla George gave the Flames an early lead (4-3), which was extended by a triple from Ahlise Hurst and a driving lay-up for Lauren Nicholson in her milestone game. The hosts responded to the tune of seven straight (sparked largely by Amy Atwell, who had 15 in the first term) but with strong contributions from Emma Clarke and Lara McSpadden, the visitors remained within striking distance (23-19) at the first change. 


The hosts scored nine of the first 11 of the second term, as their lead stretched to double-digits. Despite regular baskets from Nicholson, the three-point barrage from the Lynx continued, seeing the lead blow-out to 17 (44-27) midway through the period. In the end, it was a quarter to forget for the Flames, who lost the term 29-14 – to trail 52-33 at half-time. 

A 5-0 run to start the run didn’t make matters better for Guy Molloy’s side, which quickly increased to a 19-3 streak for the red-hot Lynx – following more shots from downtown by Atwell. On the flipside, the shooting woes (4/29 from two) made it hard for the Hoops Capital side to make any traction on the big deficit. A 26-8 period by the Lynx saw their advantage grow to 37 points heading into the final quarter. 

With the result all but over, Molloy gave his bench a chance to impress in the fourth quarter, including Hurst (who scored a career-high 13 and WNBL debutant Isla Juffermans (who became Flame #221 in the contest). Perth did the same, with the two sides trading baskets for periods of the fourth, as the quarter ended 20-17 – seeing the harbour city side fall by 40 points.  

Where the match was decided  

Apart from the huge gap in field goal percentage (52-24), the Lynx won on the back of superior statistical victories in rebounds (46-42) assists (21-15), points in the paint (32-12), points off turnovers (21-6), bench points (26-14) and fast-break points (24-7) – while coughing up less turnovers (18-20). 

Key moment  

Across the second and third periods, the hosts outscored the Flames 55-22, which laid the platform for the big win. 

Player of the game 

Despite playing limited minutes in the second half, George was the Flames’ standout – finishing with 13 points, 13 rebounds, one assist, one steal and one block. 

Others to score in double-figures were Hurst (13 including four triples) and Richards (10 points, 12 boards and two steals).

What’s next  

Molloy’s side, who are now 4-4, now return home game on Saturday, December 16 to face the Townsville Fire at Quaycentre, with tickets for the clash still available here. 

The game, which tips off at 5.45pm AEDT, will also see the club host a Flames alumni event – honouring all the players that have done the club’s jersey in its proud history.