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WNBL Rd.12 Wrap: Flames on FireTweet
AUSTRALIA's connection to Asia grew so much stronger in the WNBL's 12th round of 2016-17 as Sydney's star import Asia Taylor dominated proceedings for the Flames.
Sydney Uni was "on the road to find out" and not only did it succeed, but in the process sent a message to its opponents that yes, the Flames are for real.
No surprise here. We've been saying all season long to keep an eye on the Flames but in this round - even without three-time Olympian Belinda Snell - Sydney showed everyone precisely why.
It started in Adelaide where the gutsy home team went down battling but it was Taylor (pictured below) who made all the difference.
Playing less than 26 minutes, she scored 26 points at 56 per cent, with 14 rebounds - both game highs - plus four assists and two steals as well.
"She's a helluva player," Lightning coach Chris Lucas said.
Indeed, as Perth found out in Perth where Taylor combined with Rio Olympian Leilani Mitchell to inflict the Lynx's biggest rout of the season.
Taylor had a further 21 points but almost secured a triple-double with 13 rebounds and eight assists.
In Adelaide, Alex Wilson had scored 18 and Jennifer Hamson prowled the paint as the Flames also destroyed Lightning from the perimeter, sticking 13-of-27 threes.
It was 10-of-21 from range in Perth with Sarah Graham scoring 3-of-4 and Leilani Mitchell dominant for 27 points at 58 per cent.
The Lynx had no answer, only MVP candidate Sami Whitcomb meeting expectations with 22 points and five assists, Tessa Lavey with a career-best nine rebounds.
The New Year's Eve clash in Townsville gave the Fire their fourth straight win - albeit two of them over Adelaide and the other two over Melbourne, currently 8th and 7th in the league.
While only Fire fans are getting excited their team "is back on track", they also had cause for alarm against the Boomers when star centre Suzy Batkovic left the court in the first quarter after a heavy fall.
The Batgirl returned in the second period, lower back sore but she took control with 18 points and 15 rebounds, Townsville's 32-22 quarter decisive.
The Fire's crowd was just shy of 2,000, Adelaide also drawing just short of 1,200 in a good weekend for WNBL attendances.
SYDNEY UNI FLAMES 89 (Taylor 26, Wilson 18, Hamson 12, Mitchell, Graham, 11; Taylor, Hamson 14 rebs; Wilson 7 assts) d MAC ADELAIDE LIGHTNING 72 (Planeta, Logic 17, Roberts 12; Planeta, Logic 7 rebs; Hunter, Logic 4 assts) at The Fortress, Titanium Security Arena.
SYDNEY UNI FLAMES 93 (Mitchell 27, Taylor 21, Graham, Hamson 11, Wilson 10; Taylor 13 rebs; Taylor 8 assts) d PERTH LYNX 69 (Whitcomb 22, Hamblin, Lavey 11; Lavey 9 rebs; Whitcomb 5 assts) at The Zoo, Jack Bendat Stadium,
TOWNSVILLE FIRE 88 (Batkovic 18, Cocks 17, Murray 15, Kame 13; Batkovic 15 rebs; Batkovic, Cloud 4 assts) d MELBOURNE BOOMERS 75 (Garrick 19, Smart 16, Thompson 14, Kunek 13; Thompson 8 rebs; Kunek 4 assts) at the Fire station, Townsville Stadium.