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February 2, 2013

Canberra Capitals extinguish the Fire, 76–68

Canberra Capitals extinguish the Fire, 76–68

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Saturday, February 2, 2013

Capitals starting line up. Left to right: Hunt (obscured), Ardossi (No. 35), Wilson (in pink socks), Bibby (in long white socks). Team mascot Cap Man can be seen in the background with the umpires.
Image: Hawkeye7.

Casey Samuels stepped up into a starring role.
Image: Hawkeye7.

Sam Norwood played a key defensive role.
Image: Hawkeye7.

Tessa Lavey is all smiles after the game.
Image: Hawkeye7.

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Canberra, Australia — Last night the Canberra Capitals women’s basketball team defeated Townsville Fire 76–68 in a bruising encounter at the AIS Arena.

A small crowd of about 700 was on hand to watch the Capitals play. The Capitals had only won one of their last twelve games — though Canberra and Townsville have been the only teams to defeat Bendigo Spirit, the top side in the competition. The normally upbeat program guide advised that “a Capitals win tonight is not out of the question”.

Nicole Hunt, Jessica Bibby, Brigitte Ardossi, Michelle Cosier and Carly Wilson formed the starting line up. Ardossi returned after not playing last week due to a concussion. Mikaela Dombkins, who also did not play last week, was missing entirely this week, but Lauren Jackson was still on hand, mainly to sign autographs.

Ardossi took a hard knock in the first minutes of the game. She went off, replaced by Samantha Norwood, but would soon return to the court. Several minutes passed without either side scoring. Wilson attempted, but missed, a three pointer, and Bibby had a shot that hit the ring. After a series of turnovers, the Fire put the first score on the board. Canberra’s response came from Norwood, who drew a foul and scored a point from a free throw.

The score went to 3–4 after Hunt scored a basket. She then took a rebound to return possession to Canberra. Bibby made a second attempt at a long shot, which missed, but Wilson scored. A few minutes later, Bibby tried another three point shot and again failed, but on the next play assisted Ardossi in tying the score at 9–9. By quarter time the Capitals were down 12–17.

The five starters took to the court again in the second quarter. The Fire scored first. Ardossi attempted a long shot, which failed, but a turnover saw Cosier score, assisted by Hunt. A penalty gave the Capitals possession again soon after, and Alexandra Bunton scored with one second left on the shot clock.

Wilson, substituting for Hunt as point guard, ran over the line with the ball. However, she lifted over the next few minutes, making a three pointer to take the score to 24–29, and then running past the opposition to take another great shot which sailed through the basket without touching the hoop to make it 26–29.

The rest of the side now suddenly also found something extra. Hunt and Norwood teamed up to grab a quick score from a turnover, and Ardossi took a rebound at one end of the court and scored at the other. Another rebound from Ardossi saw Hunt score as the crowd counted down with the shot clock, to give the Capitals, who had been six points down a few minutes before, a four point lead 33–29. But in the last minutes of the half, the Fire scored twice more, and Bibby missed once more, so the scores were tied at half time, 33–33.

After a half time cheerleading demonstration by the Canberra Sirens Cheerleaders, Hunt, Wilson, Norwood, Cosier and Argossi started in the third quarter. Argossi posted the first score, making it 35–33. A couple of rebounds by Cosier saw Ardossi take two more from the free throw line. The Fire then fought back to 37–36. The game still refused to fall into the usual to-and-from characteristic of basketball. Bibby missed a shot, Ardossi fell over dramatically, Hunt took the rebound, Wilson tried to get a long shot, and finally Bunton managed to score.

A stumble by Hunt saw a Fire player attempting a lone run at the basket, only to be stopped by Wilson. Two Fire free throws later, the score was 39–38. Hunt took a long shot to make it 41–38, Bibby missed another one, and then Hunt got one single handed, bringing it to 43–41, of which Hunt had scored nine. Bibby, who had still not scored, was knocked down in a bone crunching collision with an opponent. It took some time before her Capitals team mates helped her up. The Fire player was not so lucky, and remained on the floor for several minutes. Bibby was replaced by Casey Samuels. Two baskets by the Fire tied the score again, but Hunt scored twice more before the three quarter time siren, making it 49–45.

Hunt scored first for her side in the final quarter, bring the score to 51–47, of which she was responsible for 15. The Fire posted one in response, but a defensive error let Wilson stand on the free throw line and take an uncontested shot. Alice Coddington scored a three pointer, Samuels a two pointer, and Cosier another three pointer. The scoreboard now read 61–52. A second three pointer by Cosier soon made it 64–52.

Following a controversial decision involving Ardossi for which the umpire was loudly booed, the Fire fought back to 66–62, but Hunt and Ardossi each scored to hold them at bay. There then followed a few minutes of farce as the game was halted due to a problem with the shot clock. Once this was fixed, played resumed, with Ardossi and Hunt competing for the highest score.

The scoreboard read 76–68 at the final siren, leaving the Capitals with a hard-earned if unexpected win. The highest scorer was Hunt, with 21 points, closely followed by Ardossi with 20, Cosier with 10, and Wilson with 9. Samuels had 6, Norwood had 5, Coddington had 3 from a single shot, and Bunton had 2 from a shot in the third quarter. Bibby was left scoreless.

The Capitals now have games at Bendigo and Bulleen, before their final match of the year at the AIS Arena on February 15.



Sources

  • Women’s National Basketball League. “Full Schedule” — SportingPulse, February 2, 2013 (date of access)
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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.


Sources

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


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