The JCU Townsville Fire will retreat to North Queensland after their fourth road game in the past eight days.
Having secured back-to-back victories over Bendigo and Melbourne, the Fire failed to capitalise on their momentum as they dropped consecutive nail-biters to Canberra and Sydney.
The Flames securing a 78-72 victory after the third cliff-hanger between the two teams of the season.
Just like last night, the Fire made a blistering start to the game as they poured in the opening six points – four at the hands of Suzy Batkovic – forcing Cheryl Chambers to burn an early timeout.
The Flames found their stride, however, as they got hot from beyond the arc, stroking 7/13 in the opening half to lead 45-35 at the main change.
While Batkovic (28 points, eight rebounds and three steals) was pacing the Fire, their own woes from the perimeter proved telling as they shot an abysmal 11 per cent from downtown.
Natasha Cloud (15 points, seven assists and five rebounds) and Kayla Standish (14 points and seven rebounds) both sprung to life in the third quarter as they combined for 15 points to cut the deficit to five going into the final change.
And while the Fire continued to rally, they could never find the go-ahead basket they desperately needed to wrestle the momentum away from the home crowd.
WNBA import Asia Taylor top-scored for the hosts with 25 points and 11 rebounds, while Fire championship winner Ally Wilson finished with 15.
The Fire will need to re-find their best form on Friday night when they host Perth in their inaugural Dads and Daughters game at Townsville Stadium.
Click here to see full box scores from today’s game.