Froling rises to the occasion as the UC Caps defeat Bendigo
By John Robinson IV
Coming off a tough home loss to the Southside Flyers, the UC Capitals looked to regroup as they faced the Bendigo Spirit at home for Round 10.
Starting for the injured Kelsey Griffin, Keely Froling opened the first quarter with the first basket off a mid-range jump shot assisted by Kia Nurse. However, there was limited offense in the early going as both teams struggled to score.
Halfway through this first the Capitals finally found their rhythm, dominating the interior in scoring. Bendigo would not go away easily, matching the Capital’s scoring with outside shooting which allowed them to stay in the game.
Promising young forward Gemma Potter opened up the second quarter with a corner three-pointer. The next Capitals possession would be an “And-1” basket to Marianna Tolo. As the momentum began to sway in favour of the Capitals, Bendigo forced a turnover that led to a transition basket for the Spirit.
Froling really showed her readiness for the spotlight as she continued to score on the inside and helped carry the Capitals to a 10-0 run. The Capitals continued their dominance after what was possibly the play of the game by Olivia Epoupa who scored an acrobatic “And-1” layup. Tolo, usually known for her dominating inside game, showcased her outside stroke to keep Bendigo at bay. The Capitals would close out the second quarter with a 39-31 lead.
The third quarter would start with the Bendigo Spirit scoring some tough baskets to cut the lead down to three. A Capitals turnover would allow Bendigo a three-point shot and by the seventh-minute, the game was tied at 39-39. After two missed free throws by the Capitals, Bendigo would score and take a two-point lead.
Another turnover by the Capitals would help extend Bendigo’s lead, but thanks to the inside scoring of Tolo and Froling, the game was tied up once again.
Olivia Epoupa would steal a pass and score again, allowing the Capitals to get in front. Kia Nurse came alive late in the third to help the Capitals extend their lead to six. Froling continued her career night as she drained another outside jumper. The Capitals would hold off the Spirit, finishing the third with a 55-48 lead.
The UC Capitals picked up where they left off in the fourth with an aggressive play by Froling and back to back threes by Nurse, pushing their lead to 12. The game soon became out of reach for the Spirit and the UC Caps took the win, 76-66.
Froling finished with a double-double and new career-high of 30 points and 10 rebounds. Epoupa posted 8 points and, despite being the team’s smallest player, 12 rebounds and 3 steals.
Demi Skinner led Bendigo with 15 points and 5 rebounds while former Capital Kelly Wilson finished with an impressive 6 steals.
The UC Capitals will spend Round 11 on the road with a double-header against Adelaide and Perth.