The Northern Mystics just can't seem to get things right.
Suffering yet another loss in the ANZ Premiership, the Auckland franchise remain winless for what has so far been a disastrous 2019 campaign.
Up against the Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic, the Mystics went down 42-34 at Auckland's North Shore Events Centre– a result captain Phoenix Karaka described as frustrating.
"We're working really hard as a defensive unit but it takes the whole team to get ball and it is disheartening when it doesn't get finished," she said.
"It's pretty stink to be quite brutal, but we know that we're doing it to ourselves and it's only things that we can fix within the camp."
Off the back of an embarrassing 20-goal loss to the Southern Steel, the Magic's attacking unit knew they had plenty to prove to their captain Casey Kopua, especially with the veteran having announced her upcoming retirement earlier this week.
Magic shooters Abigail Latu-Meafou and Monica Falkner were accurate under the hoop despite facing an all-star Mystics defensive line-up led by Karaka.
Both sides scrambled to get the upper hand in the opening quarter with scrappy play but as the back-and-forth battle continued, it was the visitors that claimed a slim lead while the Mystics struggled to convert.
Mystics shooters Jamie Hume and Bailey Mes crumbled under the pressure of Kopua and Ferns defender Kelly Jury in the circle, with poor shooting performances letting the home side down at critical moments.
A shocking 40 per cent shooting performance early in the clash saw Hume called to the bench minutes before halftime, and 17-year-old Grace Nweke took centre stage as the Mystics closed the second quarter having scored just five goals – their lowest quarter score in Premiership history.
Showcasing moments of brilliance, Nweke found good connection with Mystics wing attack Elisapeta Toeava, while confidently combatting the ranging arms of Jury.
And after being kept at bay by a discouraging 10-goal margin for most of the second half, the Mystics finally started to chip away at the scoreboard and show some direction across the court.
Carrying their new-found momentum into the final stanza, things looked promising for the Mystics as they closed the margin to six.
But things quickly began to unravel once more as the home side eventually fell short, scoring the fewest goals in their Premiership history, and setting an unwanted mark for their longest losing streak.
The Steel moved back to the top of the ladder after a 70-52 victory over the Mainland Tactix tonight. The Northern Stars and Central Pulse meet tomorrow night in a clash which will arguably be the greatest test of 2019 so far for South Auckland's young franchise.