The Central Pulse racked up their highest score ever in defeating the Southern Steel 58-50 in their ANZ Championship clash in Dunedin tonight.
The match was played at a frantic pace though the Steel found themselves chasing a lead they were never able to reign in against a confident and accomplished Pulse outfit.
The first quarter was tight with both sides competing fiercely from the start and jostling for the lead before the visitors took a two-point advantage into the break.
Pulse goal shoot Caitlin Thwaites was in fine touch hitting six from six while young Steel shooter Te Paea Selby-Rickit's early numbers were down with five from nine.
Selby-Rickit was simultaneously engaged in a sibling rivalry, opposing her goal defending older sister Te Huinga Reo, as their proud mother watched on from a neutral position in the stands.
Te Paea got a confidence-boost with a goal immediately after play resumed but the Pulse quickly began to dominate proceedings.
Pulse skipper Katrina Grant was her busy self, owning much of the 50-50 ball , while Camilla Lees was energetic and feeding quality ball through to her shooters with Thwaites again a force as they carried a five-point lead into halftime.
Turnovers were hurting both sides with 13 to the Steel and 11 to the Pulse, but the goal shooting stats of 70% and 79% explained the flow of the match.
The Steel re-jigged things for the second-half with captain Jodi Brown moving from wing attack into goal shoot in place of the young Selby-Rickit, as they looked to peg back the goal difference and halt the Pulse's momentum.
The pace of the match quickened as the Steel set about trying to impose themselves on the game but the Pulse were able to weather the storm and maintained their five-point edge at the last break.
The Steel turned up the heat in the final quarter and managed to close within three but that was as close as they came as the Pulse kicked-on to finish the job in style.
The Pulse will now aim for a third straight win when they travel to face the Canterbury Tactix while the Steel look to return to the winners circle against the Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic in Hamilton.