With the team finally back to full strength after a couple of forfeits, we came into the game knowing it was a must win to keep alive our small chance of making the finals. Uni SA sat at fourth on the ladder, and we sat at fifth, albeit a few wins off the fourth spot.
We were fortunate to have the addition of Jas for the game, and with Chloe back to full minutes, our ball handling stocks were the best we’ve had all season. From the first ball-up we put those stocks to good use with some slick dribbling and fast passing giving us a 10-4 lead at quarter time.
The start of the second saw Jas hit a 3, quickly followed by a fancy fast break from Zoe, and a nice put back from Roxy. We managed to pull the lead out to 18-8 halfway through the second.
Uni SA finally wisened up and starting playing some proper defence, choking our offence for the remainder of the half. At half time they managed to pull the score back to 18-13, with all the momentum in their favour.
Half time called for a lift from our girls to stem their scoring and to work on our own. Unfortunately the third started like the second finished, with them taking a slight lead halfway through the third, at 18-19. A time out was called and the team was reminded of the high stakes of the game, with the season on the line. Maddi got the message, taking the scoring upon herself and pulling a nice post move to get us on the board in the second half. Liz soon followed with a huge three to end the quarter and wrestle momentum back our way, the three quarter time score being 23-19.
Uni SA came out of the gates hard in the fourth with four quick points to level the score. Chloe wasn’t having it and hit a nice 3 of her own, thus doubling the team 3 count for the season in this game alone! With all the 3’s being hit and Uni SA laying even stronger defence, we resorted to shooting the long ball for the next couple of minutes. Unfortunately the points had turned into airballs and the coach had finally had enough calling a time out to restore some proper offence!
Zoe stepped up with a really nice baseline drive to hit a heavily guarded layup. She soon followed with a mid-range jumper to take the score to 30-23 with four minutes to go.
With a seven point lead the rest of the game called for some really strong defence with our big three of Maddi, Tash and Zoe keeping them out of the key and pulling in the rebounds from every shot they put up. They only managed to score two points in the next three minutes despite an inspired effort on their part.
We took possession in their half with 30 seconds to go. Uni SA knew they had to put it all on the table and played a full court man. We struggled to pass the ball in with it being knocked out of court three times in a row for only five seconds taken off the clock. We finally managed to get the ball in our hands with a quick pass getting it into our half. A few close losses in the past have taught us our lesson and we managed to hold possession for the remaining time taking the win 30-25 and keeping our finals hopes alive.
We carry three good wins into our round 20 game against 3rd placed North Adelaide. We need a few things to fall our way to make the finals but this winning streak is giving us our best shot!