THE Albury-Wodonga Lady Bandits fell to a ninth consecutive SEABL defeat last night, going down to Nunawading, 72-48.
An error-strewn second quarter that saw the hosts outscored 26-10 ended any chance the Border club had of pulling off a surprise win at the Lauren Jackson Sports Centre.
Once again, the height-challenged Border club was monstered inside by an opposing big, with Eleanor Brentnall posting an imposing double-double of 30 points and 11 rebounds.
The Lady Bandits were led by Montana Farrah-Seaton’s 11 points, alone in double digits.
US forward Rachel Maenpaa made a surprise early return from a back injury to score nine points in limited court time, while Sarah Moore and Carly McRae each added six points.
Emma Mahady scored just four points but put in a mighty effort on the boards, pulling down a career-high 15, including nine at the offensive end.
Despite the 24-point margin and the poor second quarter, coach James Ballinger was relatively content with the outcome, saying his squad had “grown immensely”.
“A lot of our scoring droughts come from turnovers,” Ballinger said.
“It’s very hard to get stops when you’re turning the ball over and they’re getting wide-open layups.
“Just some effort on our weak-side defence wasn’t there and teams in this league make you pay.
“But if you’d told me before the game Nunawading would only score 72 points, I thought we would’ve been in the ball game.”
The Lady Bandits started brightly enough, some crisp ball movement allowing the hosts to stay within touch 21-17 after the first period.
Ill-advised passes and rushed shots plagued the Border club’s play throughout the second quarter as Nunawading pulled away to a 47-27 lead at the main break.
It was a more defensively committed Lady Bandits lineup that came out for the second half and worked hard to reduce the deficit to 57-42.
But the Lady Spooks opened the final stanza with a Danni Bone triple and were never remotely threatened thereafter as they kept their top-four place intact.