AT times it wasn’t pretty, but that didn’t matter.
The Spirit defeated the winless Canberra Capitals 78-68 at Bendigo Stadium on Saturday night to stay in touch with the WNBL top four.
The Spirit never looked like getting beaten after Kelsey Griffin tore the Capitals apart in the first quarter.
The margin floated between eight and 18 for much of the night with the Spirit unable to completely land the knockout blow until the final minute.
Griffin gave everyone a reminder of her class with another standout performance.
She was relatively quiet in the second half, but when the game was there to be won she was outstanding.
Griffin had 20 points, 14 rebounds, three assists, three steals and one block.
Belinda Snell overcame foul trouble to finish with 17 points and seven rebounds, Gabe Richards added 15 points and six boards and Kelly Wilson, nine points and 10 assists, fell one point short of a double-double.
One of the most pleasing signs for the Spirit was the performance of import Joy Burke.
The centre scored six points to go with three rebounds, one steal and one block in 16 minutes.
Canberra kept in touch with the Spirit thanks largely to the effort of import Denesha Stallworth, who scored 31 points on 12-19 shooting.
The Spirit did an outstanding defensive job on Capitals star Abby Bishop, who only took two field goal attempts for the night and was held scoreless.