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December 7, 2012

WNBL\’s Sydney Uni Flames decisively beat Canberra Capitals

WNBL’s Sydney Uni Flames decisively beat Canberra Capitals

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Friday, December 7, 2012

Ardossi in a game last season for the Canberra Capitals
Image: Bidgee.

Tonight (Friday night) in Australia, the Women’s National Basketball League‘s Sydney Uni Flames decisively beat the Canberra Capitals by a score of 96–50 at a game played in Sydney.

The Capitals shot poorly, with a team average of 30% from field goal range, ultimately going 21/70. In contrast, Sydney shot 54%, 36/67 from field goal range. Canberra was worse from three point range, going 3/11 compared to the Flames who shot 8/15.

The Flames had several players in double digits, including April Sykes with 29, Alicia Poto with 15, and Rohanee Cox with 14. Only Brigitte Ardossi was in double digits for the Capitals with 21 points. Canberra’s next leading scorers were Michelle Cosier with 9 and Nicole Hunt with 6.

Sydney also dominated in other key statistics, including total rebounds with 36 to the Capitals’ 28, steals with 12 to Canberra’s 2, and blocks with 7 to the Capitals’ 5. The Capitals turned the ball over more than Sydney, with 22 to the Flames’ 11.

The win was only the third of the season for Sydney, who are now on a two game winning streak. Canberra’s loss continues their loosing streak, now sitting at four in a row. They sit sixth on the ladder, two games behind the Bulleen Boomers in the playoff chase.

Canberra had off court problems in the game against Sydney with Michelle Cosier and Alexandra Bunton both dealing with illness. The Capitals will not be able to count on Lauren Jackson coming back any time soon, as she is out until at least after Christmas with a hamstring injury.

Canberra’s poor performance comes at a time when the team’s head coach, Carrie Graf, is under scrutiny. The previous Australian women’s national basketball team coach, Jan Stirling, has suggested perhaps Graf should take leave from the team during Olympic and World Championship years, as part of analysis following the national team’s performance at the London Olympics. Graf’s coaching contracts with the national team and the Capitals both finish at the end of the year, and she is currently negotiating for a new deal with Basketball Australia that may create a situation where she is ineligible to coach for the Capitals because the national team position may become a full time one.



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September 29, 2012

Canberra Capitals beat Chinese women\’s national B basketball team in pre-season

Canberra Capitals beat Chinese women’s national B basketball team in pre-season

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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Belconnen, Australian Capital Territory —

Michelle Cosier goes for the ball
Image: Laura Hale.

Wednesday night, the Canberra Capitals defeated the Chinese women’s national B basketball team 75–64 at the Belconnen Basketball Centre in a pre-season warm up game before the start of the Women’s National Basketball League in October.

Several new players joined the Capitals this season, including Samantha Norwood, Valeria Ogoke, and Tessa Lavey, while Natalie Porter, Carly Wilson, and Marianna Tolo are not with the team this season.

Playing before a packed crowd, the game started with both teams’ national anthems played, followed by the Capitals giving their guests mini-basketballs. Canberra started with Nicole Hunt, Jessica Bibby, Samantha Norwood, Ogoke, and Michelle Cosier on the floor. China’s starting lineup included Liang Jiamei, Ma Xueya, Cui Xiaoxue, Huang Hongpin, and Shen Yi.

The Capitals led early in the first with a score of 6–2 and then 6–4, before Jiamei made a three pointer to put China ahead 6–7 by the time there was 6:33 left in the first. Both teams made a number of substitutions in the first quarter and tried to shoot 3-point shots that they did not land. The Capitals could not keep their hands on the ball, turning it over several times in the first. Playing a zone defense, the Chinese team appeared to have better control on their side of the court when playing zone defense on that side of the court, while the Chinese offense frustrated the Capitals who were playing man-to-man and appeared to lose the woman they were marking. The Chinese were also quick to foul, allowing Canberra to go into bonus. The quarter ended 13–19 thanks to a last minute shot by Hunt.

The second quarter started with a Canberra possession, where they turned over the ball to China before they were able to get a shot up. Ogoke managed to steal the ball back before China could capitalize on the turnover. The Chinese bench started making noise on the bench, cheering and chanting to support their teammates on the court. The Capitals coach, Carrie Graf, was very animated on the sidelines. Chinese fouls sent Canberra to the line several times, with Norwood scoring a pair with 1:41 left in the half. Dombkins made a pair of baskets in the remaining time to bring the score to within two by end of the quarter.

At the end of the first half, with the score 31–33 in favour of China, Norwood led the Capitals in scoring with 11 points and was the only team member in double digits. Mikaela Dombkins and Hunt both had 6 points, with six total Capitals players having gotten points on the board. On the Chinese side, Sun Mengran led her team in scoring with 12 points. Jiamei was second with 5 points, and seven other players also scored.

Contrasting half time styles saw the Capitals go into the locker room, while China stayed on the court and practice shooting baskets. When the second half got under way, Ogoke scored for Canberra to tie up the game. China scored to go up again, but Cosier then drew a foul, went to the line and made a pair of baskets to tie the game again. Ogoke scored again and the Capitals went ahead by two. Bibby quickly added to the lead with another 2 points. Following a Chinese time out, China took advantage of a free throw opportunity to narrow the score to 39–37. Canberra fell apart a bit, with Cosier turning over the ball and Bibby missing a pass because she was out of position. Thee Capitals were not marking players, leaving the Chinese shooters open, but they could not get the ball in the net. A 3-point shot by China had them ahead by one. With 5:27 left in the third, Canberra was leading by three. By the time there was 1:18 left, Canberra led by 53–46 with China in foul trouble and the Capitals sitting there with four. Four seconds later, Bibby drew a foul and was all smiles before going to the line. Once there, she put her game face on and scored a pair of free throws to put the Capitals up by 9. With 50.6 seconds left in the third, Cheng Feng fouled out and sent Bibby to the line again, where Bibby scored another pair of three throws. Graf was yelling at her team to push down the court, and Hunt did, scoring 2 points to put her team ahead by 13. With 5 seconds left in the quarter, the Capitals turn the ball over and the quarter ends 59–46.

Hunt, Bibby, Norwood, Ogoke and Cosier started the fourth for Canberra, while Ma Xueya, Sun Mengran, Jiamei, Shen Yi and Huang Hongpin started for China. China continued to play zone defense in this quarter and their bench continued to support their on court players. With the Caps ahead 61–50, Graf yelled at Hunt to shoot, and Hunt did, making a 3-point shot. Later in the quarter, Hunt shot an airball and Brigitte Ardossi did a good job keeping in play, getting the ball back to Hunt who failed to score on the next shot. Hunt would finish the half 2 of 4 from 2 point range. With 4:52 left in the game, China took a time out. On the bench, Xueya had her fingers buddy taped, despite not starting the game with her fingers that way. Following the time out, Graf had to yell at Bibby several times. On the next opportunity to bring subs in, Bibby was subbed out of the game. China kept trying to score 3 points but was unable to capitalise. By the time there was 2:09 left in the game, Hunt was trying to slow play down. When Hunt was subbed out, the game sped up again. With 24 seconds left, China scored a 3 pointer to bring the score to 75–64 where the score remained unchanged in the remaining time.

The game ended with Jessica Bibby leading in scoring for her team with 16 total points, 1 point ahead of Norwood who had 15 and 2 points ahead of Hunt who had 14. 6 of Bibby’s points came from a pair of 3-point shots in the second half. The only other player for her team to score a 3 pointer was Hunt. Only Tessa Lavey, who played only 2 minutes and 12 seconds and the returning Alice Coddington who played 13 minutes and 56 seconds failed to score for the Capitals. Dombkins led her team in rebounding with 8, while newcomer Ogoke had 7.

The Canberra Capitals regular season starts on October 5, with first home game to be played on October 20, which will be Lauren Jackson‘s first game with the team.


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May 16, 2012

Australian media focuses on Olympic prospects against US for women\’s basketball

Australian media focuses on Olympic prospects against US for women’s basketball

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Graf coaching players at the training camp
Image: Bidgee.

Marianna Tolo on Monday at the first day of the Opals training camp
Image: Bidgee.

Lauren Jackson at the first day of the Opals training camp
Image: Bidgee.

Part 1 of a press conference at AIS with Carrie Graf, Lauren Jackson and Jenna O’Hea speaking
Audio: LauraHale.

Part 2 of a press conference at AIS with Carrie Graf, Lauren Jackson and Jenna O’Hea speaking
Audio: LauraHale.

Part 3 of a press conference at AIS with Carrie Graf, Lauren Jackson and Jenna O’Hea speaking
Audio: LauraHale.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Bruce, Canberra — On Monday, at a press conference at the Australian Institute of Sport on the first day of an Opals training camp, the media asked questions supporting this Olympic cycle’s storyline that the Australian team is going to the 2012 Summer Olympics for a gold medal rematch between Australia and the United States women’s national basketball team, who are once again in separate Olympic pools for the tournament. Media organisations present included Fox Sports, WIN News, the Canberra Times, and Wikimedia Australia including our reporter.

The press at the first press conference consisted of a female print journalist, four video cameras behind the two rows of seats allocated for the media, and three microphones in front of the table occupied by the national team coach Carrie Graf and national team members Lauren Jackson and Jenna O’Hea. The media contingent largely asked questions about Australia’s quest for a gold medal, how worried the Australians were about the team from the United States and how much planning the team was doing in preparation to play them in the gold medal finals for the fourth time in a row. These questions mirrored an ongoing theme in the media coverage found in television media and newspaper coverage of portraying the team as one of Australia’s few serious medal contenders. The other focus was on early game against Great Britain women’s national basketball team, who are in the same pool as Australia, who will have an advance of playing on their home ground with at least one dual-Australian/British passport holder on the United Kingdom team and a former Australian national women’s team coach leading the opposition’s side.

In contrast to media questions from television and print reporters present, Graf, Jackson and O’Hea’s responses made clear their goal was in the present. The coach and players were thinking about who would survive the cuts to make the team, establishing a good team dynamic and preparing for teams early in their Olympic campaign. The Australian side was not thinking ahead to the gold medal round as they believe their competition is good enough to be a worry.

The press directed most of their questions to Jackson and Graf, with O’Hea only asked a question late in the press conference.

Following the press conference, Fox Sports interviewed one of the Opals in a one-on-one interview. Another reporter followed up with Basketball Australia’s media representative to ask additional questions.

In the opening session for the camp, a video photographer lined up a basketball to get a shot of a basketball in the foreground while Jackson and Suzy Batkovic-Brown shot baskets in the background.

The Opals had a training session open to the media early in the day, with six journalists recording in various media how players participated in several drills including a drill where the Opals, working in groups of three on three different courts, had one minute to attempt and make as many two point field goals as possible. In one drill set, Jennifer Snell made 22 of 28 attempts.

The final media open training session of the day, starting late in the afternoon, saw only a pair of Wikimedia Australia photographers and a Basketball Australia photographer present. The rest of the media had left much earlier in the day. The media open training camp will continue through until Friday, before the team starts a two week long training camp that will be closed to the media but not before two players are cut from a squad currently 19 strong that will be pared down to 12 by the end of next month.



Sources

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.


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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.