NORTH Wagga's stifling full-court defence proved pivotal in its top-of-the-table win over Charles Sturt University at Peter Hastie Oval on Saturday.
With second spot behind unbeaten Temora up for grabs, the Saints started strongly and maintained a handy cushion throughout in the 43-33 victory.
It was a pivotal win for North Wagga (6-1), who were missing midcourters Khayla Wild and Keely Stephenson after they picked up ankle injuries in last week's win over Coleambally.
Former The Rock Yerong Creek premiership player Emily O'Leary provided eyes off the court for playing coach Flynn Hogg. The decision to move switch Tess Hamblin into the shooting circle and Lily Wild back to midcourt was successful in the win.
"It was definitely a good performance. I wouldn't say we were consistent, but were consistent enough to keep our lead up," Hogg said.
"It was good to have some eyes off the court. Especially in a big game like that where you're trying to focus on your own game.
"She (O'Leary) changed it up a bit and had Tess Hamblin in shooting with myself and put Lily Wild into centre.
"That made a really big difference to change it up, as CSU weren't prepared for it. We only had seven players, but even so we still had some versatility.
"Lily being a shooter too, centre court is a good position for her because she knows where we want it in the circle. She used to play there a bit when she was younger."
The Bushsows struggled to navitage their way through the Saints' full-court defence, posting easily their lowest score of the season.
"Our defence from each end of the court was probably the best thing," Hogg said.
"I was talking to Kirsty (Lowe, CSU coach) after the game and she said our defence was what got us over the line, they found it hard to attack."
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.