Defensive pressure not enough for the UC Capitals to overpower the Flyers
A mid-week tip off at the National Convention Centre Canberra saw the UC Capitals Head Coach Kristen Veal make one change to the starting lineup with Alex Bunton entering the five, alongside Jade Melbourne, Alex Sharp, Alex Fowler and Nicole Munger.
For Southside it was Bec Cole, Maddy Rocci, Nadya Puoch, Mercedes Russell, and Lauren Jackson who took to the court, in what would be a physical, often firery and ever competitive game in front of 1,498 fans.
The first play went the way of the visitors with Maddy Rocci taking the first points of the night. It wasn’t long before the Caps hit back when Fowler strung together the perfect three-point play. Southside put the pressure on early running a full court press when the Caps had possession, but Melbourne and Munger used their speed to score some quick points. It remained a tight battle for the rest of the quarter as both teams looked to use their height down low in the key. The physicality was high and with 90 seconds remining both teams were shooting bonus foul shots. The Caps were unable to finish off a jump shot in the dying moments which saw the Flyers gain a seven-point lead into the first break.
Caps 20 – Flyers 27
The second term started off in the Flyers favour with Russell making an opening jump shot, followed by a successful foul shot from Jackson. The Caps returned fire in style with back-to-back three-pointers from new recruits Alex Sharp and Monica Okoye that really got the crowd cheering. However, the visitors then went on to show off their own shooting skills with Carly Earnst recording two three-pointers of her own, despite impressive defensive pressure from the home team. The Caps tried to chip away at the Flyers lead, but the visitors held strong going into the main break.
Top scorers of the half were Bunton with 8 points, 8 rebounds, and Fowler with 7 points, 2 rebounds. For the Flyers it was Russell with 14 points, 3 rebounds, and Rocci with 12 points, 2 rebounds, and 3 assists.
Caps 40 – Flyers 49
The second half started in style with Jackson putting up a successful three-point shot from the top of the arc. For the home side it was co-captain Melbourne who brought the energy for her team, putting in the work at both the defensive and offensive end. However, it wasn’t enough to shut down the Flyers with Puoch, Cole and Rocci all sharing the scoring to extend their lead even further. Jayda Clark came off the Caps bench with impact, nailing a jump shot while also getting hit with a foul, and followed up with a foul shot to make the perfect three-point play.
Caps 55 – Flyers 77
Finishing off the final term the Flyers continued on their scoring run, with Jasmine Dickey adding two foul shots to her total. Munger got the Caps side firing in spectacular fashion, hitting two three-pointers in quick succession. The match continued to be a display of physicality, with the Flyers making it into the bonus just over four minutes in. The visitors were able to capitalise on that through Russell and Rocci who lead their team as they tipped over into triple digits. The Caps continued to stay in the contest but it wasn’t enough to stop the Flyers who ended the night with 104 points, to the Caps’ 79.