The UC Capitals made it seven wins on the trot when they outgunned the Villawood Properties Bendigo Spirit on the Saturday night Chemist Warehouse WNBL stage.
The Caps had 11 players impact the scoresheet in the 87-51 result in Townsville with co-captain Marianna Tolo (14 points, 6 rebounds) producing an MVP display.
Guard Maddy Rocci sunk 12 points, Tahlia Tupea (10 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds) made it two outstanding performances in a row, Keely Froling combined her 10 points with 5 rebounds and 4 assists while Kelsey Griffin (9 points, 9 rebounds) was on the verge of a double-double.
Froling said it was a true team performance by Canberra.
“We have such a deep team so we can share the load and it’s going to help us in the long run. It’s hard to stop because on any given night anyone can score, anyone can play really well and when you get a couple of people do it on one night it’s really hard to stop,’’ she said.
“We want to get better every game and we weren’t happy with how we played the other night (against Perth Lynx) so we definitely wanted to come out and make a statement tonight and I think the biggest thing was defence and we really showed that in the first half.”
Spirit captain Tessa Lavey (17 points, 4 assists, 3 rebounds) again led from the front, Demi Skinner (9 points, 3 boards) build on her new-found form as Carley Ernst added 7 points and 4 rebounds.
A shining light for the Spirit was 17-year-old Piper Dunlop. The teen talent from Bendigo even had a pinch me moment.
“I lined up on Griffin at one stage and I was like ‘Oh my god, I’m playing Kelsey Griffin!’ I never thought I’d be here, especially at my age,’’ she said.
“I couldn’t be more excited to line up with the Spirit and play the UC Capitals, they’re an amazing team.”
Dunlop produced her best output for the season netting six points, a rebound and an assist in her 11 minutes court time.
“The girls back me up on everything. I came here as a little kid but I feel like they’re really boosting my confidence and I couldn’t have asked for a better team,’’ she said.
“In every photo there’s a smile on my face and that’s because I’m always smiling. This is an experience I’ll cherish for the rest of my life and I’m over the moon to be here.”
She believes a breakthrough win will be reward for Bendigo’s effort.
“We’ve got to keep our heads up, keep pushing hard, we all have a great work ethic. I’m not stressed at all about it, we’ll pull through.”
Next up, the Caps go toe-to-toe with the Deakin Melbourne Boomers in Townsville on Tuesday night while the Spirit will be chasing their maiden win when they take on the Perth Lynx.
Megan Hustwaite is a freelance contributor to WNBL.com.au
UC Capitals 87 (Lavey 17, Skinner 9, Ernst 7)
Villawood Properties Bendigo Spirit 51 (Tolo 14, Rocci 12, Froling, Tupea 10)