The Robinhood Stars have suffered a heavy 68-44 defeat to the MG Mystics in their ANZ Premiership encounter in Auckland.

The first meeting between the Mystics and Stars in the 2022 season was always going to be highly anticipated with Silver Ferns match-ups aplenty.

The Stars were backing up from a win over the Trident Homes Tactix on Wednesday and were challenged in every aspect of the contest. 

Simply superb was Mystics shooter Grace Nweke as she scored 59 from her 66 attempts. The 1.93m athlete was unstoppable as her team-mates worked effectively in all areas of the court to deliver quality ball to her.

The defending champion Mystics settled first into the encounter with Peta Toeava putting in some trademark pinpoint feeds to the high-jumping Nweke, hinting there was even more to come.

The Mystics built a seven-goal first quarter lead as all areas of the court were running smoothly. Maintaining their momentum in the second quarter, the Mystics scoring machine surged further, extending their lead to 14 goals by halftime, despite a trying effort from the Stars.

Stars coach Kiri Wills went to her bench bringing in Amorangi Malesala at goal attack, replacing Jamie Hume in the second quarter, and bringing on Lisa Mather at centre following halftime.

Anna Harrison and Elle Temu hunted the ball with determination and the defence were rewarded with 9 intercepts throughout the match. Despite their hard-working efforts, the Stars shooters and midcourters were less cohesive than in their previous three wins this season.

The teams were contesting the first game of three in the Barfoot & Thompson Northern Challenge Trophy.

The Stars next game is against the Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse on Wednesday at Pulman Arena.

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