A dominant second quarter was enough to see the Mandurah Magic women to victory in a scrappy affair against the East Perth Eagles on Saturday night.
A spate of fouls made for a messy game between the two sides, but the Magic were able to outscore the Eagles 31-9 in the second to break the game open on their way to a 72-48 win.
Mandurah coach Randy Miegel praised his side’s ability to work through early struggles and break away in the second.
“It was a strange game. The first quarter I thought we missed a bunch of opportunities but I was happy with the way the girls took control in the second,” he said.
“Coming off a bye we were quite patchy, but it was a tough game and we still came away with a 24-point win, so there’s plenty to like about the performance.
“I thought Nici (Gilday) was really good and we managed to rotate every player through and give them all good minutes.
“Overall I was pretty happy, but we do have some things we’ll work on at training this week.”
Gilday starred with 22 points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals on the night.
Her influence was at its heaviest in the second quarter, when she dropped 13 of her 22 to lead the way as Mandurah dashed out to a 20-point lead at the half.
Star centre Carly Boag joined Gilday at the top end of the stat sheet, recording 14 points, 13 rebounds, five assists and five steals.
Impressively, the Magic carved out the win despite missing perennial play-maker Casey Mihovilovich for most of the night.
Mihovilovich went down with a rolled ankle early in the second quarter, and saw no further time on the court.
“Casey was in pretty good touch but went down in the second. Fortunately we were able to get some momentum after that and she was able to sit the remainder out,” Miegel said.
“She won’t train tonight and we will see how she goes later in the week before we decide if she can play next week.”
The Magic take on the Perth Redbacks in the penultimate round of the season next week, who could be their first match-up in the finals.