The Robinhood Stars have inched closer to a spot in the ANZ Premiership finals series after a strong 58-47 victory over the Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel in Invercargill.
The win sees the Stars remain in third spot on the competition ladder, five points clear of the Trident Homes Tactix and one point adrift of the second placed MG Mystics.
While the first half was a shaky affair at times against a desperate Steel outfit, the Stars kept their noses in front with slick play at both ends of the court, forcing turnovers and converting them which made up for any sloppy errors that crept in.
The Stars held a 29-25 lead at the break, helped by powerful goal shoot Maia Wilson leading from the front netting all 23 of her first half attempts at goal would go on to finish the game shooting 42 of 43, while being well supported by Amorangi Malesala and Jamie Hume.
The Stars must've been received a rocket from coach Kiri Wills at the break, as they ignited to life as soon as the third quarter whistle was blown, going on a ruthless run, stunning the Steel and leading by as many as 15 goals by the midway point of the final quarter.
Centre Mila Reuelu-Buchanan enjoyed one of her best outings of the season and was electric with ball in hand and a nuisance when trying to get it back. Reuelu-Buchanan chimed in with a whopping 60 feeds into the goal circle, with 28 resulting in an assist. Her right hand woman Gina Crampton was solid as ever, leading the Stars attack in crucial moments.
Elle Temu was a backcourt general for the Stars - forcing the Steel into mistakes with constant pressure and was rewarded with six gains and a couple of intercepts, as her connection with Holly Fowler continued to flourish.
The Stars are at home for their final regular season game against Northern rivals the MG Mystics on Sunday afternoon.