The Sydney Uni Flames have secured head-to-head advantage over the Bendigo Bank Spirit after holding on in a three-point WNBL thriller on Friday night.
The Spirit’s Kelsey Griffin had a three-point shot on the buzzer under pressure to propel the game into overtime at the Bendigo Stadium.
However, Griffin’s shot hit the rim and missed as the Flames held on to win 71-68 and inflict the Spirit’s second loss in a row since the resumption from the mid-season break.
The game was marred by a frustrating disruption with 9:03 to go in the third quarter when a system malfunction shut down the Bendigo Stadium’s new scoreboard.
The game, with the Flames leading 42-34, was delayed for about 15 minutes, forcing both teams to again go into warm-up mode.
And when there was a second delay later in the term, in total the third quarter lasted about 40 minutes.
The game had a familiar pattern across the first three quarters – a strong start by Sydney Uni, the Spirit fighting back, before the Flames again finishing the term strongly.
The two sides then traded blows in the final term, each with some big three-point shots, but it was the Flames that prevailed for the third time in four meetings with the Spirit.
Griffin led the Spirit – now 10-7 – with 17 points, while Blake Dietrick and Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe each scored 13.