Payne, Essex step up for Force
IPSWICH Force's wonder woman Nadeen Payne jokes she's addicted to buying shoes.
With the amount of game time she's playing this season, she'll soon be ordering more.
Payne led the way with 29 points in a tremendous 40-minute performance that guided Ipswich to a hard fought 68-62 victory over Brisbane.
The ever-reliable forward stepped up with Australian player Emma Langford away and regular players Stacey Howard and Lauren O'Sullivan injured.
When her team trailed by eight going into the final quarter, Payne showed why she is one of the most consistent performers in the state league.
"It was a really defensive game; Nadeen had to work hard to get the points,'' Ipswich Force coach Brad George said.
However, George found another shining light in the win that keeps Ipswich implanted in the top four.
Teenager Meg Essex contributed a valuable 11 points during her 17 minutes on court in Friday night's win.
"She's inexperienced at that level and she played outstanding,'' George said of the 17-year state junior representative.
"It was a bit of a bonus for me to get a look who can step up. That gives us more confidence.''
George was also heartened by the defensive and rebounding efforts of Peta Eddington.
"We didn't shoot very well but we really looked after the ball,'' the coach said. "We didn't turn the ball over like we normally do.
"We had a huge final quarter winning it 25-12.''
Ipswich's sixth victory of the season keeps them in fourth spot on the same win-loss record as third-placed opponents Brisbane.
However, with Brisbane having the bye this weekend and Force playing South West, Ipswich can move into third spot.
"It's a good start; we are where we want to be,'' George said.
Meanwhile, the Ipswich Force men slumped to their sixth loss in going down 95-61 to Brisbane on Friday night.
Ipswich's highest scorer was Rory Sutton, with just 13 points, while Brisbane's Andrew Eisinger piled on 32 including six three-pointers.
The injury-depleted Force men have just two wins from eight games.
State of Play
- QBL men: Brisbane 95 (Andrew Eisinger 32, Drew Phillips 17) d Ipswich Force 61 (Rory Sutton 13, Jerel Chavis 12, Martin Iti 12).
- QBL women: Ipswich Force 68 (Nadeen Payne 29, Meg Essex 11) d Brisbane 62 (Jessica Wallis 16).
- Next matches: Saturday - Ipswich Force v South West Metro at Hibiscus Sports Complex (5pm and 7pm).