The Sydney Uni Sparks came up against a tough Dandenong Rangers outfit over the weekend. Although they eventually went down to the reigning SEABL champions 81-71, the Sparks proved they are able to compete with a high calibre team, with vast WNBL talent.
The Sparks were up by 1 point at the main break after matching the intensity of the Rangers, on both offensive and defensive ends, in the first half. However the Rangers outscored the Sparks 23-12 in the third quarter, which proved to be the difference in the game.
Although the Sparks weren’t able to get the win this week, there were quite a few positives to come out of the game. They looked much more confident and organised with the ball this week, cutting down their turnovers substantially from previous weeks. Coach Karen Dalton said, “I’m happy to see the girls continue to improve. I thought we competed really well for most of the game, but had some defensive lapses in the third quarter which let us down. This was a step forward for our team and we will look to build on this game for next week.”
Tahlia Tupaea was the standout for the Sparks finishing with 28 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists. In a whirlwind week for the young guard, being drafted by the Minnesota Lynx in the WNBA, Tupaea caused quite a few problems for the visiting Rangers. Shanae Greaves was strong in the post finishing with 14 points and 6 rebounds and the Sparks welcomed back sharp shooter, Sarah Graham, who finished with 14 points off 5 of 7 shooting.
The Sparks will look to bounce back this week as they take on the Launceston Tornadoes at SUSAC on Friday 28th April at 7pm.