The Melbourne Vixens have moved a step closer to securing a place in the Australian Conference Finals after recording an impressive 60-55 victory against the West Coast Fever in Round 12 of the ANZ Championship at Hisense Arena on Sunday.
Karyn Bailey 42/46 (91%)
Alice Teague-Neeld 18/22 (82%)
West Coast Fever
Caitlin Bassett 47/53 (89%)
Natalie Medhurst 8/12 (67%)
Despite a scare in the third term when the Fever mounted a comeback to get within one-goal of the lead, Vixens Head Coach Simone McKinnis was pleased with the way the team responded to the challenge.
“They came at us today, however, we were able to respond, steady ourselves and keep our score ticking over, so that was really important,” McKinnis said.
Captain Madi Robinson was awarded the Most Valuable Player [MVP] for the fifth time this season after leading the way for the Vixens in the mid-court with 14 goal-assists.
“It was pretty physical and we knew we had to come and do a lot of work off the ball. They love the ball up in the air, so there was a lot of hard ground work having to be done today,” Robinson said.
“I am really proud of our efforts today even though we didn’t start the third quarter the way we would have liked. We found our way out, stayed calm and composed, so it was pleasing to see that we can perform under that pressure.”
Well supported with a home crowd advantage, the Vixens showcased a record-breaking crowd of 8613 for the first time this season.
With finals on the line, the Vixens dominated the opening quarter. Karyn Bailey and Alice Teague-Neeld were instrumental, shooting a perfect 19 from 19 to help the Vixens establish a six-goal lead at quarter time.
The Vixens extended their lead to eight-goals early in the second quarter, with the home team capitalising on the Fever’s high error count.
Teammates Geva Mentor and Jo Weston were in sync in the defensive third, helping the Vixens to a 33-25 lead at halftime.
A lift in intensity saw the Fever mount a comeback in the third quarter. The combination of Caitlin Bassett and Natalie Medhurst proved difficult for the Vixens to shutdown.
The Fever managed to get within one-goal of the lead midway through the third quarter before a run of goals late in the term saw the Vixens head into the final break leading 47-42.
The sides went goal-for-goal in a nail-biting fourth quarter, however, it was the Vixens who prevailed 60-55.
The Vixens will now travel to New Zealand next weekend to take on the Southern Steel in Round 13 of the ANZ Championship at ILT Stadium Southland on Saturday 25 June from 2pm AEST.
Melbourne Vixens' squad v West Coast Fever
Sunday 19 June 2016, Hisense Arena
Karyn Bailey (GS)
Alice Teague-Neeld (GA)
Madi Robinson (WA) (Captain)
Liz Watson (C)
Kate Moloney (WD)
Jo Weston (GD)
Geva Mentor (GK)
Did Not Play
Fixtures & Results
Sunday 3 April: Vixens v Swifts, Sydney, NSW [42-57 Swifts]
Sunday 10 April: Vixens v Thunderbirds, Adelaide, SA [59-44 Vixens]
Saturday 16 April: Vixens v Firebirds, Melbourne, VIC [47-58 Firebirds]
Sunday 1 May: Vixens v Magic, Melbourne, VIC [57-34 Vixens]
Monday 9 May: Vixens v Tactix, Christchurch, NZL [69-48 Vixens]
Sunday 15 May: Vixens v Swifts, Melbourne, VIC [51-59 Swifts]
Saturday 21 May: Vixens v Fever, Perth, WA [54-53 Vixens]
Saturday 28 May: Vixens v Thunderbirds, Melbourne, VIC [57-51 Vixens]
Saturday 4 June: Vixens v Firebirds, Gold Coast, QLD [44-56 Firebirds]
Sunday 12 June: Vixens v Mystics, Melbourne, VIC [69-46 Vixens]
Sunday 19 June: Vixens v Fever, Melbourne, VIC [60-55 Vixens]
Saturday 25 June: Vixens v Steel, Invercargill, NZL
Monday 4 July: Vixens v Pulse, Wellington, NZL
Follow the team's results on Twitter by following @MelbourneVixens and using #PowerTogether.