Lady Bandits register strong away victory over Sydney Uni Sparks

THE Albury-Wodonga Lady Bandits have improved their record to 2-1 after splitting a tough road double last weekend.

An impressive 64-53 victory over the Sydney Uni Sparks on Friday night had some of the gloss taken off by a heavy 87-58 loss to the Melbourne Tigers on Saturday.

The import duo of Emilee Harmon and Kristi Mokube again proved they would be a tough cover for opposition sides in both games, but coach Jim Wilson said there would need to be more consistent contributions from the rest of the team to avoid losses like the Tigers result in future.

“We’re fairly happy with the weekend, getting a win on any road trip is good, but particularly considering where we’ve come from in the past,” he said.

“We had solid execution, we got stuff done, but we turned the ball over too much.” 

Though frustrating, it could also be reassuring that Molly Rice, Harmon and Mokube were among a number of Lady Bandits to be affected by illness on Saturday night’s loss to the Tigers, despite taking the floor.

Against the Sparks, a top-four team last season, it was the defence that won the game for the visitors.

After both sides were even at 20 points at the end of the first quarter, the Bandits allowed just a further 33 for the rest of the game.

The only blemish was an ugly third quarter, during which a series of costly turnovers cost the visitors a much bigger margin of victory.

Harmon (26 pts, 8 reb) and Mokube (17-10-4 ast) led from the front, while Emma Mahady had a hand in everything with five points, six rebounds, six assists and four steals.

It was a different story on Saturday night, with the Tigers benefiting from some poor transition defence and an off shooting night for Harmon and Molly Rice.

They weren’t alone though, as the Lady Bandits shot a lacklustre 31% overall from the field, and failed to hit a shot from the perimeter.

That loss will quickly be put in the rear-view mirror as they turn their attention to their next outing, another road double in two weeks’ time against Nunawading and Bendigo.

“We're still taking things one quarter at a time,” Wilson said.

“We need to be better spreading the floor when Emilee is attracting double and triple teams from the defence.

“We needed to score 17 or 18 more point to be competitive, and we had enough shots up to do that.

“We know we can be better with that.”