The West Coast Fever were simply too hot for the Waikato-BOP Magic in the ANZ Championship at ASB Arena tonight.
Fever's speed, accuracy and movement off the ball were simply too much for the injury hampered Magic and the performance gave the Perth-based side their first win against the Magic on New Zealand soil.
The Magic were still without injured high profile players Leana de Bruin and Grace Rasmussen, and the writing was on the wall in the first quarter. The visitors had a 100 per cent scoring rate to lead 17-11 at quarter time, but it was the second quarter when Fever really kicked on and took control, defence keeping the Magic scorers feeding off scraps and the attack ruthless and fast.
Magic coach Julie Fitzgerald took goal attack Malia Paseka off, replacing her with Ellen Halpenny, but Halpenny only managed one goal from seven attempts in the quarter.
At half time the Magic shooting percentage was down to 65 per cent, compared to 87 per cent for the Fever, with Fever's intercept conversions sitting at 50 per cent compared to 14 percent - the Fever were getting the turnovers and making the turnovers count.
Fitzgerald made more changes at half time, moving Jo Harten to goal attack and bringing Paseka back on at goal shoot.
But the Magic had few answers and 11 minutes into the quarter the Fever had stretched the lead to 20. Natalie Medhurst and Caitlin Bassett were combining well and scoring almost at will from great service from the mid courters, and the third quarter ended with The Fever 49-29 ahead.
With Fever coach Stacey Rosman making wholesale changes in the final quarter, the Magic came back into the game, but still went down 58-44, the mini- revival possibly giving the Magic some badly needed confidence going as they still seek that elusive first win of the season against the Tactix in Nelson.
Skipper Jo Harten said the performance was a lot better than previous weeks.
"We had our own goals against another Australian side and I think we tried to stick to that today, but we were outclassed on some areas of the court so we have to take that on the chin and move on."
Coach Fitzgerald said there were good signs from the performance.
"We did a whole lot of things a whole lot better and there are good signs that we have something to build on."