Fire stumble after sluggish start

October 19, 2017 | Townsville Fire news

The JCU Townsville Fire have seen their unbeaten record go up in flames after a nightmare start on their home floor.

In another enthralling affair against Sydney Uni, the Fire made a stunning comeback and appeared to have sent the game into overtime as Laurin Mincy pulled up in transition to hit a three.

A toe on the line meant the long-range dagger was called a two, forcing the Fire to foul Asia Taylor (19 points and eight rebounds) with 1.2 seconds on the clock.

The power forward calmly made both free throws to stretch the lead back out to a three-point cushion, and while the Fire were able to advance the balls thanks to a time out, their luck had finally run out.

“We weren’t great in the first half,” Fire captain Suzy Batkovic said.

“We need to find a way to make better starts.

“To our credit, we fought back hard but Sydney are a great team and they were able to get across the line.”

Despite early foul trouble, Batkovic ignited the fire in the second half as she finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds to be named the First Things First MVP.

Vice-captain Mia Murray (11 points and four rebounds) also came to life after the main break, while Cayla George (10 points and 16 rebounds) was a constant but particularly useful early in the game when the Fire could get next to nothing going on the offensive end.

The Fire (2-1) will have little choice but to get back to business with an early morning flight to Melbourne to face Dandenong on Saturday in the Fox Sports game of the week.

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