The Tokomanawa Queens have snapped their two-game skid with a 77-58 win over the Southern Hoiho in Dunedin.
The Hoiho have often started strong this season and they turned in a hot shooting first quarter, making 8-of-13 field goals and 2-of-3 from three to help them to a 22-14 lead. They held the Queens to 6-of-16 from the floor and were capitalizing with buckets through imports Laina Snyder and Shelby Cheslek at the other end.
Both teams had seven turnovers in what was a sloppy first quarter. Playing with pace was the theme from tip-off, with both teams wanting to push the ball and run the court. The Hoiho were the main beneficiaries as they were finding ways to score and limit the Queens effectiveness on defence.
The scoring droughts that have often haunted Southern this season struck again in the second quarter. They managed just five points, with three of them coming in the final seconds through Laina Snyder. Snyder had nine points on 3-of-4 from downtown in the first half to lead the Hoiho to a 27-26 advantage.
Argentinian Florencia Chagas totaled 11 points through the first 20 minutes for the Queens, including a buzzing beating 3-pointer heading into the halftime break. Both teams shot 10-of-30 from the field in the half.
The Queens erupted in the third quarter, outscoring the Hoiho 32-12 to completely take control of the game. Chagas had worked her way up to 16 points, but it was Jacinta Beckley providing the scoring punch off the bench in the quarter with 11 points on 3-of-5 shooting from downtown.
Southern just couldn't score with any consistency in the quarter and their turnovers were playing right into the Queens' hands.
The Hoiho showed some life in the fourth quarter rattling off a 12-7 run over the first five minutes. They were playing hard on defence and it was leading to points on the other end.
However, Queens captain Stella Beck drilled a 3-pointer with just under three minutes to play that would serve as the dagger in this one despite a valiant fourth quarter push by the Hoiho.
Tall Fern Zoe Richards dropped a season-high 19 points with seven rebounds on 6-of-10 shooting from the field and 3-of-5 from distance for the Hoiho. She got inserted into the starting lineup tonight and showcased what she can do with extended minutes. Look for her to remain in the starting lineup moving forward as the Hoiho continue to search for offensive consistency.
The Hoiho shot just 33% from the field with 23 turnovers. Whilst they forced 19 turnovers on the other side, it's certainly an area that they need to tidy up in the hunt for their first win.
Florencia Chagas swiped five steals for the Queens, adding 18 points and seven assists. She had a productive game for Tokomanawa after a couple of quiet performances in recent outings. Chagas' is a key cog to this Queens unit, and they'll continue to lean on her to drive the offence.
The Queens will prepare to host the Whai next Monday, while the Hoiho will meet the Whai a day earlier in Dunedin.
SCORE: Hoiho 58, Queens 77
Hoiho: Snyder 20 PTS, 8 REB, 3 AST, 3 STL | Richards 19 PTS, 7 REB | Cheslek 8 PTS, 10 REB
Queens: Chagas 18 PTS, 7 AST, 5 STL | Nared 21 PTS, 6 REB, 4 STL | Beckley 14 PTS, 4-6 3PT
Full box score HERE.
Stuff MVP Votes
Florencia Chagas (Queens) - 9 votes
Jaime Nared (Queens) - 9 votes
Zoe Richards (Hoiho) - 5 votes
Stella Beck (Queens) - 3 votes
Shelby Cheslek (Hoiho) - 2 votes
Jacinta Beckley (Queens) - 1 vote
Laina Snyder (Hoiho) - 1 vote
Hoiho – July 24 vs. Whai
Queens – July 25 @ Whai
Round 4 Tauihi Schedule