Melbourne stars as UC Capitals fall to Perth in tight contest
It proved to be a physical match as the UC Capitals took on the Perth Lynx in what played out to be a close match right up until the final minutes. The UC Capitals were clearly the stronger team for the first three quarters, before Perth nudged their way forward in the final ten minutes.
With Shaneice Swain missing the game due to a family funeral, Britt Smart, Jade Melbourne, Rae Burrell, Alex Bunton and Nicole Munger started on the court against Perth’s Alex Sharp, Chloe Foster, Jessie Edwards, Mackenzie Clinch Hoycard and Tayah Burrows.
It was an energetic start for the Caps as Nicole Munger continued her good form and kicked off the scoring with a two-point jumpshot. Alex Bunton was strong in the key, pulling in rebounds at both ends while Jade Melbourne took on the bulk of the scoring with a mix of both two and three pointers to give her team an early lead. Perth were out to play physical, led by Robbi Ryan who contributed eight points in the first quarter. Liz Tonks and Bec Pizzey came off the bench to keep the energy going with both contributing in big defensive plays. With one minute left of the quarter Perth called a timeout which worked in their favour as they came out firing with a press defence to keep the scores even going into the first break.
Caps 22, Perth 22
Melbourne continued to fire after the break, as she opened the scoring despite Perth’s smothering defence. Munger linked up with Rae Burrell to bring some speed and score a string of quick points for the Caps. Returning from the Perth bench came Sami Whitcomb who kept her team in reach on the scoreboard. Melbourne continued her sharp shooting as she sank 20 points in the first half to extend the Caps lead halfway through the quarter. At the other end it was Chloe Bibby who worked hard for the visitors as they went into bonus foul shots. Late points from Burrell helped to put the home side ahead by three points at half time.
Caps 47, Perth 44
Perth returned from the break with a fight but the Caps still managed to take the first points through Britt Smart. Bibby ran the floor for Perth scoring an easy layup for her side before the Caps hit back through Sherrie Calleia to gain a seven point lead half way through the quarter. Some long-range shooting from Alex Sharp helped the visitors to fight back before a steal from Melbourne ended in a successful fast break one-on-one with Whitcomb. With two minutes left in the quarter, a three-pointer from Burrell put the Caps ahead by 11 and forced Perth into calling a timeout. The visitors kept their fight up and managed to shorten the Caps lead to just one point going into the final break.
Caps 68, Perth 67
To start the last quarter, Perth hit a three-pointer through Lauren Sherf to steal the lead for the first time since early in the game. Some big rebounds from Bunton helped to keep the Caps in the fight as it remained a one-point game as both teams traded points. Pervious injuries started to niggle at Melbourne and Burrell but both pulled through to stay on the court. Whitcomb worked hard to keep Perth in the lead, as Melbourne did the same for her team down the other end. The Caps kept fighting to shorten the gap but were unable to stop Perth who finished with a 14 point lead.
Caps 83, Perth 97
The Caps play again on Friday night against the Sydney Flames, shown live on 9Now.