THE Bendigo Bank Spirit’s inconsistent season continued on Sunday when they suffered a 13-point home loss to the Perth Lynx.
The Spirit were looking to build momentum off the back of last week’s stunning upset of top side the South East Queensland Stars, but a below-par first half cost them dearly against the Lynx.
The Lynx broke down the Spirit’s trademark defence, scoring a massive 54 points in the first half to lead by 17 points.
The Spirit rallied in the third quarter to get within three points, but the effort took its toll and the Lynx put the home side away in the final term.
The 86-73 result was the first time the Lynx have beaten the Spirit in Bendigo.
“Clearly we dug ourselves a massive hole and a hole that size is really hard to get out of,’’ Spirit coach Simon Pritchard said.
“It was done with poor efforts in the first and second quarters. We didn’t do a good job of the plans we had in place and our communication was poor.”
Pritchard was proud of the way the Spirit fought back in the third quarter, but knew his team was in trouble at three quarter-time.
“In the third quarter we knuckled down and had better communication,’’ Pritchard said.
“At the end of the day we spent a lot of energy getting the margin back to five points. The girls were spent and we had no energy left.”
The Spirit shot the ball at just 36 per cent and turned the ball over 20 times.
Belinda Snell had an off shooting day – 4-18 from the field, including 2-10 three-point attempts – but still led the Spirit in scoring with 16 points.
Spirit star Kelsey Griffin was hampered by foul trouble and extra attention from the Perth defence. After a quiet first half she sparked the Spirit comeback in the third quarter and finished with 15 points, five rebounds, four steals and three assists.
Guard Kerryn Harrington was the most efficient Spirit player, with 13 points on 5-10 shooting.
Gabe Richards (11 points and 13 rebounds) couldn’t repeat her heroics from last week.
The result saw the Spirit slip to sixth on the WNBL ladder with a 5-4 record.