The Robinhood Stars have bounced back in a big way to edge the Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse 47-46 in their Round 8 ANZ Premiership match in Palmerston North.
Meeting again just four days after losing to the Pulse by 10 goals - the Stars showed they had done their homework since and made a strong start to the contest.
Spearheaded by the imposing defensive pairing of Anna Harrison and Elle Temu, the Stars applied endless pressure on the Pulse attack, making them fight for every goal and were rewarded with multiple turnovers, which the shooting pairing of Maia Wilson and Jamie Hume converted to give the Stars a six-goal lead midway through the quarter.
The Pulse showed they weren't going to go away and strung some good play together to close the gap, but the Stars continued to hold the advantage and went into the second quarter up 14-10.
The Stars maintained their composure in the start of the second quarter and strung goals together. Play became lose from both teams as they traded turnovers and the Pulse built some momentum, closing the gap again.
Intent on not letting the Pulse make the most of the wind in their sails, the Stars hit back in the closing minutes, with some impressive play, regaining the four goal buffer to lead 28-24 at the half.
The third quarter was a scrappy affair with both teams fighting to gain control of the match. The Pulse forced more errors from the Stars and suddenly there was just one goal in it, with the Stars ahead 38-37 with the final quarter of an enthralling contest upon us.
The home crowd of the Pulse willed their side back into the match and the tense atmosphere was telling as both teams did all they could to avoid giving ball away.
The Pulse applied pressure of their own and went on a run of goals - eating away at the Stars lead and eventually turning it into a one goal advantage of their own.
The Stars hung tough though and claimed a crucial turnover which they converted and after a run of their own pushed out to a two-goal cushion with under three minutes to play.
The Stars showed poise late, maintaining possession despite being under copious amounts of pressure, running the clock down and clinging on to win 47-46 and collect a much needed victory.
Temu was a force on defence, collecting four intercepts as the Stars picked up 10 gains and forced the Pulse into 22 turnovers.
Jamie Hume produced an MVP performance, linking well with Wilson all night and showing calm under pressure to sink some big shots and keep her team in the game.
The Stars head back home to host the Splice Construction Magic for the first time this season on Saturday.