Caps douse Fire in first half but results dont go their way
The UC Capitals went up in their first home game of the New Year against the Townsville Fire in front of a crowd of 1207. Both teams had learnt a great deal since they last played each other in round one and were hard to split for most of the match.
Jade Melbourne, Shanice Swain, Rae Burrell, Nicole Munger and Alex Bunton started off for the Caps going up against Lauren Nicholson, Steph Reid, Tianna Hawkins, Mikaela Ruef and Karlie Samuelson.
The Caps won the first possession, but it was Townsville who scored first after Reid stole the ball and passed off to Hawkins for two points. It didn’t take long for the home side to hit back with Munger taking it down the other end to score a three-pointer and put the Caps on the board. Townsville showed off their speed early, scoring some easy points off fast breaks from Reid and Samuelson. Britt Smart subbed in for Swain and had immediate impact scoring a three-pointer to give the Caps a three-point lead halfway through the quarter. The Caps head coach, Kristen Veal, called a timeout in an attempt to maintain their strong start, but it was the visitors who came out fighting to snatch back the lead with two minutes to go. Both teams continued to trade baskets, and it was Townsville that came out on top at the end of the quarter with a three-point lead.
18 Caps – 21 Townsville
After the break it was the Caps who came out firing, with Swaine hitting a trademark three-pointer to make the score line level again. Hawkins and Ruef used their height advantage to combine in the key for Townsville and keep the scoreboard ticking over. Neither side was able to pull ahead so Townsville called a timeout, but it was the Caps who made the most of it with Swaine coming back on to hit another three-pointer. Reid continued to work hard for the visitors earning some fast points for her team, while up the other end Melbourne used her speed to drive through the key and score some bonus foul shots. With 30-seconds left in the quarter, both teams stepped up their defence and put the pressure on to try and earn a steal. However, nothing could separate the game with Townsville maintaining their three-point lead into half time. Swaine ended the first half as leading scorer with 14 points, while Reid followed with 13 for Townsville.
39 Caps – 42 Townsville
Coming off the break it was Townsville who managed to sneak in the first points through Hawkins. Disappointed with their start the Caps called an early timeout, and after coming back Bunton eventually managed to get their first points of the half. The physicality from the opening half wasn’t lost as both teams continued to battle it out in a full court defence. Five minutes down and the game was still even with Townsville’s Nicholson creeping it out to a four-point lead after a successful foul shot. Swaine’s good form couldn’t be stopped as she sunk yet another three-pointer to keep her team in close contest. The Caps continued to fight hard but were unable to stop the visitors as they pulled away on the scoreboard. Nicholson found her form and scored nine points in 90-seconds, including a three-point buzzer beater, to give Townsville a 15-point lead into the last break.
Caps 50 – Townsville 65
Down but not out the Caps came back in the final term to score the opening points thanks to Munger, and back-to-back three-pointers from Melbourne closed the gap to nine points. Townsville was forced into a timeout just for Bunton to come back from the stoppage to score two more points for the home side. It was Samuelson who hit back for the visitors scoring two jump shots in quick succession to keep her side ahead. The Caps continued to put up a fight, with Melbourne keeping the energy going for her team before a series of fouls from the Caps saw Townsville convert some bonus shots. Despite the tough contest from the Caps, they were unable to catch up on the scoreboard and Townsville finished the match with a 15-point lead. Nicholson led the scoring with 22 points for Townsville, while Melbourne earned 19 points and Swaine 17 points for the Caps.
Caps 62 – Townsville 77