The Southern Steel maintained their record-breaking form to remain unbeaten at home, defeating the Mainland Tactix 59-56.
A week after posting the highest-ever score in an ANZ Premiership match (70) against the Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic, the Steel claimed their tenth straight win at Invercargill's ILT Stadium Southland in a seesaw affair.
A Steel win looked grim in the early stages of the deep South clash as the home side struggled to find their momentum against the in-form Tactix.
Top Tactix defenders Jane Watson and Temalisi Fakahokotau caused early problems for young Steel shooter Jen O'Connell, who struggled to link up with her midcourters in the first quarter.
Under the pressure of the league's leading defending duo, O'Connell became hesitant under the hoop and missed vital opportunities to score.
Meanwhile, Tactix shooter Ellie Bird was in fine shooting form. Finding good connection with her Tactix shooting partner Brooke Leaver, the pair edged their side to a narrow three-goal lead after the opening period.
Taking back to the court in the second quarter with patience, the Steel quickly made back lost ground to level up the match at goal-for-goal play.
Lifting her standard alongside Silver Ferns shooter Te Paea Selby-Rickit, O'Connell asserted her presence despite the tenacious efforts from the Tactix defence. With Steel midcourter Gina Crampton feeding with vision and direction, the Steel surged ahead to lead the visitors 30-27 at half-time.
Often evening the scores, the Tactix threatened to snatch the home side's lead throughout a tightly contested third quarter. But the visitors were left to play catch-up again as the Steel dominated with possession and consistency.
Steel defender Courtney Elliott honed every ounce of her leaping ability against the height of Bird, snatching vital possessions for her side while the visitors desperately pushed the defending champions to their limit.
The Steel secured key turnovers in the final minutes of the clash, which ignited their passionate crowd as the side held their ground to secure a three-goal victory.
Tonight's match results won't affect the current standings on the ladder, with the Steel remaining in second place and the Tactix in third.
The Northern Mystics will take on the Magic tomorrow night at Rotorua's Energy Events Centre, where they will look to move off the bottom of the ladder.