A final quarter onslaught was not enough for the JCU Townsville Fire to topple the Perth Lynx in a Grand Final replay.
Trailing by as many as 15 halfway through the final term, a three-point barrage – inflicting just some of the pain the Lynx had all night – gave the Fire some hope, but they eventually rant out of time and steam to go down 85-89.
In her best game of the season, Kayla Standish posted a double-double with 24 points and 12 rebounds, including some clutch shots down the stretch to be named the First Things First MVP.
Standish was well supported by Mia Murray (18 points and seven rebounds) and Micaela Cocks (14 points and nine rebounds).
Natasha Cloud hit a season-high nine assists.
For the visitors, MVP candidate Sami Whitcomb finished with 22 points including the sealer from the free throw line with two seconds remaining.
“It was a disappointing loss,” Fire captain Suzy Batkovic said.
“We’re just not finding away to get across the line at the moment, but we appreciate the support from the crowd who were great again tonight and you need to stick with us.”
The Grand Final opponents traded blows in the opening term, as Cocks ran hot from the three-point line while the Lynx were just as impressive.
Despite leading for much of the term, the two-time reigning WNBL champions went into the first break trailing 25-27.
While little separated them both in the second quarter, Carley Mijovic (20 points) and Tessa Lavey (10 points) hit three consecutive three-point bombs to hand them a 10-point lead at the main change.
Little went right for the Fire in the third term as the Lynx made the decisive move, and despite their last quarter heroics, it was a case of a little too little, a little too late.
Click here to see full box scores from tonight’s game between the Fire and the Lynx.