Perth Lynx have ticked the first box in their quest to claim the WNBL minor premiership by beating Sydney Uni Flames 84-72.
The Lynx entered the game knowing they must win all three of their remaining games and hope Canberra lose one of their two matches to finish on top.
They raced to a 24-point lead in the first half before receiving a scare when the Flames reduced the deficit to only four points during the final period. But they again pulled clear.
Sami Whitcomb dominated with 23 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals.
Jackie Young was also fantastic with 17 points and five assists while Lauren Scherf scored seven points and hauled in 11 rebounds.
The Lynx were playing their fifth game in 12 days and heavily rotated their bench. Tayah Burrows seized upon her chance with eight points, four rebounds, two assists and one steal.
Lynx coach Ryan Petrik said his goals at the moment were clear.
“Priority one right now is how we win three games and priority two is how we keep the five starters under 130 minutes. We ticked both boxes,” he said.
“That’s our only check list. The first half was brilliant. It was really special. The third quarter was patchy but we don’t care. We are just trying to keep our bodies as fresh as we can knowing we play finals next Thursday.
“For us it’s about surviving and advancing.”
Perth were without guard Alex Ciabattoni after she remained in WA after entering COVID-19 protocols. She won’t play until finals.
Marina Mabrey increased her time on court to 22 minutes against the Flames and started the game again in her third match back from a foot injury. She scored nine points and had four assists.
Petrik said she could have played for longer.
“I know the starters feel frustrated by not playing for longer because right now they feel great. Marina looked good. It’s great to see her getting her legs back and the more she plays the better she’ll be,” he said.
Their final two games will be against the struggling Townsville Fire in Queensland on Friday and Sunday.