The Melbourne Vixens have entered the top three of the Australian conference after a gutsy, come-from-behind win over the formerly third-placed West Coast Fever, 54 – 53.
The Vixens, who trailed for nearly the entire match, have taken over Fever’s spot in the top three, meaning that they are currently placed to proceed to the finals at the end of the season, if their position remains the same. However, for most of the game it was looking like it would be the Fever who would maintain that third-place. It was an arm-wrestle game from the get-go, with the biggest lead of the match being six. There was a turnover within the first five seconds of the game, with the Fever scoring the first after a string of turnovers for both the teams.
The Vixens defence of Geva Mentor and Jo Weston had no answer to the Fever’s attack early in the game, unable to stop the Australian Diamonds shooting pair, Natalie Medhurst and Caitlin Bassett.
The second quarter saw the Fever get a mini run, however they weren’t able to completely shake a persistent Vixens, who clawed their way back from a six goal deficit to a two goal deficit at one stage.
At half-time it would be a four goal difference between the teams, with the Fever in the lead. It looked to be another Fever-dominated quarter in the third, but the Vixens rallied late to level the scores at 35 all.
With the scores tied at 40 at the three-quarter-time break, the Fever fell away and only lead for a small period in the last quarter. Vixens captain Madison Robinson, who suffered a season-ending knee injury last time she ventured to the west, was named MVP for the match, with 16 goal assists, 28 feeds and an intercept.
The Vixens now face the struggling Adelaide Thunderbirds, who have been devastated by injury and illness this season, and are sitting winless on the bottom of the ladder.