The Robinhood Stars have recovered from a slow start to power past the Splice Construction Magic 47-39 in their ANZ Premiership match in Auckland.
The win is the Stars' fifth of the campaign and marked the 150th national league appearance for defender Anna Harrison who responded with an astounding MVP performance.
Both teams made a cautious start to the contest as they tried to build ascendancy. The Stars tried to increase the tempo and were punished as the Magic defensive end forced two turnovers and built a five-goal lead.
The Stars responded with their cliche grit and chipped away at the deficit, before levelling the match late in the quarter. The Magic in turn hit back with another attacking raid of their own and were up by four, before the the Stars finished off a back and forth quarter with two unanswered goals, with the Magic ahead 14-12 after the first stanza.
The Stars were ever present on defence, but couldn't quite snatch many 50/50 balls in the first half.
The second quarter was reminiscent of a heavyweight boxing bout, with both teams trading blows and failing to hit the canvas. The Magic looked to be taking control of the match, before the Stars would hit straight back with consecutive goal runs, as each team fought for every inch of possession.
Anna Harrison was amongst everything and looked every bit as energetic, agile and disruptive as she did in her first game in 2002. Harrison finished the half with three intercepts and played a big part in restoring momentum for her team.
The Stars caught fire late in the half - going on a run of three goals to take a 24-21 lead into the half-time break.
The Stars defensive intensity set the platform for a terrific third quarter. Harrison and Temu combined for seven third quarter gains and with some slick link up play by Mila Reuelu-Buchanan and Gina Crampton, the Stars were flying.
Maia Wilson and Jamie Hume worked well in the shooting circle, opening up space and making opportunities count as the Stars raced out to an 11 goal lead late in the period. The Magic fought hard and managed to close the gap to 9 goal, with the Stars leading 37-28 with one quarter to play.
The Stars produced a solid quarter to round off the game - coach Kiri Wills was able to make some changes and provide players with some much needed game time.
The Magic stayed in the contest for the quarter, but it wasn't enough, as the Stars came away with a comfortable 47-39 victory in the first meeting between the two sides for the season.
The second and third quarter were the deciders, with the Stars scoring a combined 25 goals to the Magic's 14.
Harrison finished the match with seven gains, which included five intercepts, while Temu chimed in with nine gains and three intercepts.
The Stars are straight back out in front of their home fans tomorrow when they host the MG Mystics at Bruce Pulman Arena.