Fire grind out tough win

October 27, 2018 | Townsville Fire news

The JCU Townsville Fire secured a hard-fought 79-76 win over the Sydney Uni Flames.

With the match going down to the wire, the Fire held their nerve when it mattered most as Suzy Batkovic mounted her case for a seventh Chemist Warehouse WNBL MVP.

The inspirational skipper was simply brilliant for the Fire as she recorded 30 points and 12 rebounds to will them to victory.

“It wasn’t pretty,” Batkovic said.

“It was a real grind out there and to Sydney’s credit they took us right to the wire.”

With the Flames missing key personnel, the Fire were hot favourites to square their season ledger at 2-2 after a slow start to 2018/19.

Britt Smart (24 points and seven rebounds) caused headaches for the reigning champions as she splashed three first quarter triples en route to 14 points.

Despite Smart’s hot hand, the Fire remained within a basket as Batkovic went to work and was well supported by Mikhaela Donnelly (nine points, eight rebounds and three assists) and Micaela Cocks (nine points, three rebounds and four assists).

In the dying moments of the first half, the fire snatched the lead but a tug-of-war still ensued.

Just two points separated the Fire and the Flames entering the final change as the hosts looked to build a cushion.

But back-to-back daggers from Alex Wilson, a championship winner with the Fire in 2014/15, provided the Flames with a 73-67 lead with three-and-a-half minutes remaining.

A 12-3 run to the fire to finish the game was enough to get the result as Batkovic and her teammates would not be denied.

The Fire will now look to turn the tables on Perth next Saturday when they host the Lynx at Townsville Stadium.

Click here to see full box scores between the Fire and the Flames.