The experienced play of Katie O'Keefe and Louise Brown has seen Warrnambool Mermaids bank its first Big V win at The Arc.
The Mermaids, whose other victories have come on the road, trailed by three against Mildura Heat at half-time, before a 30-17 third-quarter performance turned the tide in the home side's favour.
Assistant coach Courtney Thompson said the eventual 20-point win stemmed from improved defensive play in the second half.
"The first half was not ideal, it wasn't how we wanted to start the game," she said. "We had a spiel at half-time and we came out and the girls executed everything asked of them.
"Our defence picked up a couple notches and our offence came from our defence."
O'Keefe dominated the opposition and added another 24 points and 13 rebounds on Saturday, while Brown was a major presence off the bench with 12 points and 10 boards.
"(Lou's) just that leadership, and she controlled our offence," Thompson said. "And it's something our juniors can look up to and see 'we need that loud voice'.
"We played all 12 girls tonight, and everyone did something positive and contributed to the game."
The two teams will meet again on Saturday, this time in Mildura, with Thompson expecting both teams to utilise different line-ups.
"(Heat) had a lot of girls stay in Mildura to play netball, similar to us on road trips," she said. "So next week, they'll have a full side."
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Now just one tap with our new app: Digital subscribers now have the convenience of faster news, right at your fingertips with The Standard: