The Robinhood Stars have lept back into the ANZ Premiership's top three, after a solid 61-55 victory over the Avis Magic in Auckland.
With their poor last outing against the Magic still etched in their minds - the Stars looked intent to be clinical from the outset and delivered, with some slick play leading to some well earned goals early.
The Magic were a nuisance where possible, with some solid play of their own, seeing Ameliaranne Ekenasio and Bailey Mes cash in at their shooting end, as both teams traded goals back and forth.
The Stars kept hunting for ball on defence and were rewarded late in the quarter, with a timely turnover and the ensuing two goal run resulted in the Stars taking a 16-13 lead in to the second quarter after a clean cut first period.
The Stars really kicked into gear in the second quarter and began to ooze confidence while staying composed at the same time.
With ball in hand the Stars were clinical, led by Gina Crampton and Mila Reuelu-Buchanan in the mid-court, they found shooters Maia Wilson and Amorangi Malesala who was marking her 50th league match with ease and the goals began to pile up.
Elle Temu and Holly Fowler were rock solid at the defensive end, making the Magic work for every goal and expertly disrupting their space.
The Stars were scoring at a rate of knots and their lead ballooned to as many as 10 goals. The Magic nabbed a late turnover and converted to close the gap to seven at half-time, as the Stars held a 35-28 advantage.
The Stars made a slow start to the third period, as the Magic tried to cut down the margin and did so by scoring three of the first four goals of the quarter.
The Stars responded perfectly, regaining control of the contest and going on a run of their own to open up an even healthier lead.
The Magic tried to up the tempo knowing they'd have to score quickly to have a chance of snatching victory and pressure showed at key moments as the Stars' brick wall held strong.
The Stars enjoyed another productive quarter to lead 51-41 at three quarter time.
Fatigue began to creep in during the fourth quarter, as the Stars were guilty of some tired play, which allowed the Magic the opportunity to close the gap again.
They did so at a quick pace and the deficit was cut to five goals, which caused some nervous murmurs to be cast across the home crowd.
The Stars did enough to deflect and any further Magic pressure though and hung tough in the dying minutes to lock in a crucial win.
Reuelu-Buchanan was at her live-wire best all game and was named match MVP, Wilson continued her hot shooting run, netting 47 of 49 shots at goal and Temu and Fowler combined for six gains at the defensive end.
The Stars head to Christchurch next weekend and will battle the Trident Homes Tactix on Sunday.