University of Sunshine Coast women’s and men’s basketball teams have fallen to
cross-town rivals Phoenix on the opening night of the NBL1 North season at USC Stadium on Thursday.
Phoenix women defeated USC Rip City 89-70, while the Phoenix men won 98-56 to open the NBL1 North Rivalry Round.
In the women’s game, Sunshine Coast bookended the game with 26-1
8 opening and 26-15 closing quarters. Phoenix was led by the efficient scoring from centre Bianca Abbott (22points from 11 of 16 shooting) and 2012 WNBL Grand Final MVP Kathleen MacLeod (18 points).
Down nine at the half, USC closed the gap to two points early in the third, but Phoenix kept their composure, and their consistency proved the difference.
Rip City’s Carlie Smith (18 points), Jasmine Forcadilla (13 points) and Liisa Ups (13 points) top scored for USC. But the home side were not able to find their range, hitting just 6 of 23 three-point attempts (26.1%) compared to Phoenix’s 4 of 9 three-pointers (44.4%).
The Phoenix bench outscored their opposition reserves 23-14, with Caitlin Clancy (11 points) and Jennifer Carden-David (10 points) showcasing Sunshine Coast’s depth.
In the men’s game, Sunshine Coast centre Nelson Kahler scored a game high 28 points and 12 rebounds to help Phoenix outscore Rip City 52-26 in the paint.
Phoenix guards Darnell Robateau (24 points) and Jamaal Robateau (18 points) helped Phoenix get off to a good start and not once surrender the lead since taking it in the opening minute.
Rip City guard Isaih Tueta top scored for USC with 17 points, but the team only shot an overall 32.4% from the field (23 from 71 attempts) so that others did not trouble the scorer's table too much.
Phoenix outscored Rip City 16-2 from
turnovers despite Sunshine Coast only forcing two more turnovers (18-16).