Kia Nurse shooting barrage leads to win over Bendigo
By John Robinson IV
Coming off a gutsy win against the Townsville fire, The University of Canberra Capitals flew to Ballarat to take on former Cap Kelly Wilson and the Bendigo Spirit.
Kia Nurse charged into the first quarter, posting 10 points in less than 3 minutes. The Spirit attempted to keep it close thanks to early offense from Tessa Lavey and Rebecca Robin, but the combination of Nurse’s outside shooting and Marianna Tolo’s physical inside scoring would pose too formidable for the Spirit. Abby Cubillo took full advantage of her minutes and made her presence felt with a transition jump shot. The UC Capitals would finish the first quarter with a 25-17 lead.
Bendigo came back fighting as they immediately attacked on offense and took a 26-25 point lead. That was until Nurse subbed back in and hit two big threes that would put the UC Caps back in front. Some strong defense by Kelsey Griffin and Olivia Epoupa would hold the Spirit at bay.
Spirit guard Shyla Heal tried to keep the game close with efficient three point shooting, but Nurse would have the final say as she continued her shooting barrage. Tolo dominating the paint and some crafty inside finishes by Griffin would stiffen the lead as the Capitals would close out the second quarter with a 50-39 lead.
The UC Capitals stretched their lead in the third as Griffin hit an early corner three and Rocci hit a pair of free throws after drawing a foul. Nurse would add to her dominant performance with a fancy finger layup which led to an “And-1” conversion.
Tolo and Griffin proved again why they are toughest duo in the post as they both consistently showed their ability to score from the inside while adding crafty rebounding. Rocci, Cubillo, and Epoupa showed some great guard play, with their ability to shoot from the mid-range, playmake, and snatch steals in the passing lanes. A buzzer-beater at the end of the quarter by Nurse would add to the UC Capitals lead, 75-50.
Bendigo attempted their comeback but it would not be enough thanks to the dominant defense of the Capitals and the fiery shooting by Nurse. Although the Spirit made some late threes it would prove futile as the UC Capitals continued to impose their will on Bendigo.
The UC Capitals took a convincing win finishing 91-66. Nurse finished with 32 points leading all scorers having shot 70% from the three point line while Griffin added another double-double to her resume with 15 and 13.
The UC Capitals will now return to Canberra to begin preparations for their game against the league leaders, the Southside Flyers, on Sunday, December 15. To purchase tickets, click here.