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WNBL 2014/15: Week 2 Finals Preview
The Townsville Fire have secured their spot in the big dance thanks to a terrific victory last week, despite being made to work for it. Now, with just two weeks remaining on the WNBL calendar, we have two games to go to finish proceedings on what's been a fabulous season.
This Sunday, both the Bendigo Spirit and Sydney Uni Flames take the trek back to northern Victoria as they play off for a spot in the final.
Preliminary Final: Bendigo Spirit (2nd) vs. (4th) Sydney Uni Flames
Sunday 1st March 2015, 3:00pm @ Bendigo Stadium
Tale of the Tape
15 wins 8 losses
Last Five: 3 wins 2 losses
Sydney Uni Flames
12 wins 11 losses
Last Five: 3 wins 2 losses
The Spirit won eight games this season at home while dropping three games which included two to non-playoff teams.
However, that extra loss came against their next opponent, as the Flames were able to score a 67-60 victory over the Spirit in round 10.
Sydney Uni only visited Bendigo Stadium once this season, ending in the above result, however the two times Bendigo travelled to New South Wales it ended with the visitors taking all of the points.
Home court has not played its part when these two teams have met this season.
An absolute beast in the opening half last week, Griffin had the Fire on the ropes with 19 first half points.
That large and efficient production was halted almost immediately after half time, just as the Fire started to control the match. While Griffin finished the contest with 21 points and nine rebounds, her output is going to need some consistency with no patches where she's missing if Bendigo are to take a stranglehold on this game.
The surprise packet in last week's come-from-behind victory against the Dandenong Rangers, Cox has shown a glimpse of what she can provide when the spotlight is beaming on the Flames.
Cox dropped 24 points including a perfect ten of ten from the free throw line to completely stun the Rangers out of a preliminary final berth. On 60% shooting from the floor, Cox will need another big game backing up the likes of Katie-Rae Ebzery and Leilani Mitchell if they are to have a shot at the Fire next week.
Gabe Richards vs. Paris Johnson
I'm sure you can interchange Richards for Griffin at times throughout the afternoon, however Paris Johnson's job will be a nightmare for most opposing players. However, Johnson has proved this season that she is a serviceable forward/centre and will continue upsetting her opponents on a weekly basis.
For her sake, she hopes that this isn't the last week to do it either.
On the flip side, Richards has been in some nice form as of late, with a string on double doubles to finish off the regular season.
Rebounds will be hard to come by if these two are battling for them down low.
Bendigo by 8