Talbot-led Lightning strike Caps in overtime

November 11, 2020 | WNBL news

A masterclass by new captain Steph Talbot inspired Adelaide Lightning to an overtime win on the opening night of the 2020 Chemist Warehouse WNBL season.

Talbot, who has taken the leadership reins from Nicole Seekamp, top scored with 31 points and 13 rebounds as the Lightning defeated reigning back-to-back champs University of Canberra Capitals, 85-73, in Mackay on Wednesday night.

Adelaide led by just a point, 35-34, at half time before new recruit Ally Wilson swung the momentum firmly in her side’s favour in the third term. The point guard knocked down consecutive triples to help her team take a 59-49 advantage at the final break.

New Capital Mikaela Ruef, got hot early in the final term to tie the scores as the teams continued to exchange baskets down the stretch before Maddi Rocci evened things up with seconds to go.

Talbot then set the tone in extra time with the first points and went on to dominate the period and guide the Lightning to a big first-round win.

Wilson heaped praise on her skipper and her MVP performance.

“Steph’s an absolute superstar. She led the way and that was exactly how we wanted to start the season. We came out aggressive, played as a team and we’re really happy to walk away 1-0,’’ she said.

“Ahead of overtime we spoke about how important it was to come out with high energy and aggression and to really stamp our authority early on and I think we did that.

“I was happy to play my role tonight. First and foremost, I’m a point guard so I’m looking to get my team mates involved but if I need to score, I can score for the team and I was happy to do that in the third.”

For the Caps, Rocci was a stand out with 21 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists. Keely Froling (19 points, 4 rebounds) paced Canberra on the way to a quarter-time lead. Ruef teamed 13 points and 6 boards before she was helped from the court late in the game with an ankle injury and on restricted minutes veteran Marianna Tolo notched 10 points.

Canberra went into the game without injured trio Kelsey Griffin, Tahlia Tupea and Britt Smart.

Coach Paul Goriss said his side showed many positive signs in challenging circumstances.

“We’ve still got a lot of players to come back in, we got into foul trouble, we’ve got players injured and we had another go down. For us, that was an OK game for our first one. We’ll continue to add people back into our rotation and I think get better as this thing rolls,’’ he said.

“We ran out of numbers and legs. Adelaide had their full complement of 12 and we were left with 7 by the end of the game.”

Megan Hustwaite is a freelance contributor to WNBL.com.au



Adelaide Lighting 85 (Talbot 31, Wehrung 16, Wilson 15)

UC Capitals 73 (Rocci 21, Froling 19, Ruef 13)