WNBL 2014/15 Round 14 Review
It was a massive week for the University of Canberra Capitals who secured two impressive wins over their main rivals in the hunt for a playoff berth. An Abby Bishop masterpiece was far too good for the struggling Melbourne Boomers while the Caps were also able to run over the Bendigo Spirit in what was an intense battle.
All that and more, in our Round 14 review:
Fourth quarter shut-out sees Caps snatch Spirit
A 22-9 final quarter stand had the University of Canberra Capitals up and about on their first game of their Victorian road trip with a 73-70 victory over the defending champs Bendigo Spirit.
Despite trailing by as much as 16 points in the third term, the Caps rallied behind stars Abby Bishop and Lauren Jackson.
Bishop (25 points, 10 rebounds) and Jackson (17 points, 9 rebounds) paced the visitors and proved too much for the Bendigo outfit.
Sara Blicavs led the home side with 23 points and six rebounds, while Kelsey Griffin pitched in 16 points, eight rebounds and three blocks.
As the Capitals found themselves down ten at the final break, a 13-4 run to kickstart the quarter had the game on a knife edge as Bendigo's large lead was cut to one.
Bishop starred in the final term with nine points which included a perfect 7-7 from the charity stripe to see her team scrape over the line for a memorable victory.
Photo Credit: Michelle Couling Photography
Bendigo 70 (Blicavs 23, Griffin 16, Snell 13)
University of Canberra 73 (Bishop 25, Jackson 17, Veal 12)
Rangers keep rolling as Adelaide put to the sword
Off the back of an incredible defensive stand in the opening half, the Dandenong Rangers have cruised to a 95-64 victory over the Adelaide Lightning.
Giving up just 18 points in the first half, the Rangers found themselves up 30 by the main break, as the 48-18 scoreline summed up the Lightning's season thus far.
After a tough week which hasn't identified what's to come with Adelaide's WNBL future, the Lightning looked down and out as they have for much of this season.
Annalise Pickrel led the way for the Rangers, as her 19 points and four rebounds bounces her right into some form heading towards the end of the season. Alice Kunek (17 points), Penny Taylor (15 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists) and Cappie Pondexter (8 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals) all played their part in what was a twenty minute exhibition.
For the Lightning, Laura Hodges led the way again with 13 points, despite it being on 18 shots. Jenni Screen was the only other player in double figures with 10.
Dandenong 95 (Pickrel 19, Kunek 17, Taylor 15)
Adelaide 64 (Hodges 13, Screen 10, Harrington 9)
Bishop stars, Capitals find fourth spot
The University of Canberra Capitals made it two wins from two this weekend in their Victorian double as MVP favourite Abby Bishop was once again instrumental for her side in their 74-66 victory over the Melbourne Boomers.
The Boomers, who have now lost two straight were no match for Bishop's size and ruthlessness in getting to the basket.
Photo Credit: Michelle Couling Photography
Bishop finished with 36 points and 14 rebounds on 12-19FG shooting and a perfect 11-11FT.
Boomers coach Guy Molloy tried to throw everything at the WNBL superstar including various double teams, however all Boomers centre Natalie Burton could do was defend in awe as the Capitals forward had all the answers.
In what was a struggle offensively for nearly everyone else on the floor, Melbourne were led by captain Tess Madgen who finished with 16 points, while Laurie Koehn and Rebecca Allen chimed in with 13 and 12 points respectively.
In front of a packed crowd at the State Basketball Centre in Melbourne, Lauren Jackson (6 points) was treated to a wonderful reception, however quickly exited the court for the change rooms early on in the contest.
Her second game in two days may have taken its toll on the injury plagued star and it should be monitored as the season hits its playoffs point.
Melbourne 66 (Madgen 16, Koehn 13, Allen 12)
University of Canberra 74 (Bishop 36, Veal 9, Talbot 8)
Home cookin' keeps Fire burning above Flames
Dominant first and third periods by the home side has maintained the Fire's near perfect home record throughout this WNBL season with a 93-60 victory over the Sydney Uni Flames.
The combination of Steph Cumming, Jillian Harmon and Cayla Francis was too good for the visitors, as the pair combined for 64 points on very efficient shooting.
The game was clocked off when the Fire ramped up their defensive pressure in the third term, allowing Sydney to score just 11 points. The defensive stands from the home side have become somewhat of a normality in the third quarters as head coach Chris Lucas has his team playing at a high level.
Katie-Rae Ebzery paced the Flames with 14 points, however it was the struggling Leilani Mitchell (2 points, 1-8FG) who's production couldn't be replaced by one or more of her teammates which ultimately led to the blowout.
Townsville 93 (Cumming 22, Francis 20, Harmon 20)
Sydney Uni 60 (Ebzery 14, Tupaea 11, Cox 9)
Spirit way too big for Waves
The Bendigo Spirit have found their form again thanks to a big win over the struggling West Coast Waves.
The 80-55 victory in Perth was largely thanks to Kelsey Griffin's performance where she tallied 28 points and 11 rebounds on 10-14 field goal shooting.
While the Waves had the upper hand early as Darcee Garbin (14 points, 6 rebounds) found the hot hand, their small lead had been erased by the first break as the game was tied at 21.
From there, Bendigo put on a critical defensive stance allowing just eight points in the second quarter as the Spirit made their push to put the game out of reach.
Bendigo's 15 point margin at half time was extended to 27 in the third and even 29 in the final quarter, as the game turned into a training drill for most.
West Coast 55 (Garbin 14, Harper 8, Moore 7)
Bendigo 80 (Griffin 28, Snell 17, Richards 12)
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