Northern Mystics have regained their spot atop the ANZ Premiership with a runaway 56-44 win over Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic at Auckland's EventFinda Stadium.
Silver Ferns shooter Grace Nweke led the way, converting 47/50 attempts on goal, including faultless accuracy through the second and third quarters, and 37 consecutive goals.
The Magic stayed pace with their rivals through the opening period, trailling by just one at the break, but began the second period a player short, as goal defence Oceane Maihi struggled to stem the flow of blood from her nose.
She was eventually replaced by Hannah Ridling, but the unscheduled change disrupted a defensive line-up that had performed well to that point. During Maihi's absence, the Mystics scored four straight goals to establish a lead they would never surrender.
The Mystics led by just five goals late in the third quarter, but a 6-1 run powered them to a double-figure advantage entering the final stanza that allowed them the luxury of subbing Nweke off for the final minutes.
Without Silver Ferns captain Ameliaranne Ekenasio, the Magic relied heavily on rookie Ivana Rowland, who responded with 20/24 shooting, while veteran international Bailey Mes was a little wayward with 20/21.
The result edges Mystics past Central Pulse on the competition table, with six wins from eight games and a game in hand.
Mystics take on bottom-of-the-table Mainland Tactix - a rematch of last year's finalists on Saturday, followed by Magic against Northern Stars, both at South Auckland's Bruce Pulman Stadium.
Northern Mystics 56 (Nweke 47/50, Falkner 6/11, Vui 3/5) Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic 44 (Rowland 20/24, Mes 20/31, Autagavaia 4/4)