The JCU Townsville Fire’s title defence has continued its shaky start after losing a nail-biter at home to the Sydney Uni Flames this afternoon.
Looking to rebound after last week’s road loss to Melbourne, the Fire made a positive start as captain Suzy Batkovic continued her MVP season with four quick points to commence the game.
WNBA draftee Nat Novosel proved a handy ally as she came off the bench and was once again a livewire as the Fire went on a 10-0 run to close out the first term with a seven point lead.
Batkovic (25 points and seven rebounds) was proving difficult in the low post, while front court teammate, Darcee Garbin, was smashing the offensive glass to pace the Fire.
With a five point lead at the main change, the Fire made a slow start to the second half as the Flames snatched the lead with Carolyn Swords (14 points and 11 rebounds) and Katie-Rae Ezbery (24 points, five rebounds and three assists) proving hard to contain.
Tahlia Tupaea (14 points) gave the pair great support and regularly found herself in the paint.
As the game went down to the wire, the Fire had their chances and with 10 seconds to go they had possession to force overtime.
A disrupted play meant they were unable to get a shot off as the Flames clinched a three-point win.
“It was a disappointing loss,” Batkovic told the crowd.
“We need to train hard during the week and look to get back in the winners’ circle against Melbourne next Sunday.”
Cayla George (13 points and 14 rebounds) finished with a double-double, while Novosel was the only other Fire player in double figures with 10 points.
Click here to read box scores from today’s game.