An inspired first quarter from Hannah Richards set the tone early, as Woodville never fully recovered, the Sabres recording a crucial 27 point victory in front of a strong home crowd.
Richards was proving difficult to stop, finding plenty of space under the rim- picking up 12 points for the quarter. Sturt’s high tempo play had the Warriors on the back foot, forcing a timeout just a minute and a half into the contest.
Sarah Elsworthy ran the Sabres offence, using her great vision and passing to find open teammates- collecting six assists to go with her nine points in the first half alone.
Woodville provided little resistance, with Jennifer Monroe scoring all of the Warriors meagre seven first quarter points, trailing Sturt by 16 at the first change.
Kayla Matthews began to work into the match, providing important run and a sharp shooting option from the outside the arc. She netted her second three of the game early in the second quarter, eventually finishing with four long range efforts at over 66 percent.
Whilst Woodville began to get their hands on the ball more often, partly due to Monroe’s impressive eight rebounds for the half, they struggled to inflict any scoreboard pressure- shooting at just 28 percent.
Sturt skipped out a 25 point lead on the back of a 12-0 run to start the third, with Captain Caroline Burgess featuring prominently, as the Sabres pressure continued to cause numerous turnovers and poor shots.
Ashley Claussen tried her best to lift her side, nailing a classy long-range three. Claussen had an excellent 13 point second half, but overall Woodville’s offence was patchy at best.
As the last quarter began to lose some heat, as both sides made full use of their benches, there were easy opportunities for those willing to push into space.
Matthews and Gibbons picked up some nice threes, whilst Jessica Von Einem and Claussen (15 points, 10 rebounds) answered for Woodville.
Sturt never looked threatened and ran out comfortable winners, backing up their comprehensive win over the Lions in Round 15.
Elsworthy was arguably the Sabres best, finishing with a team orientated 10 rebounds, nine assists and 15 points.
Burgess (14 points, 10 boards) was also very good, recording a double-double as she pulled down a number of crucial boards, as Sturt outrebounded Woodville easily.
Considering the jam-packed schedule, Sturt can take great heart from a four-quarter team performance, moving a step closer to securing a finals berth.