Season record crowd farewells UC Capitals in style
The UC Capitals have gone down in a gutsy performance against the Perth Lynx in front of a season record 1,704 fans for the player led Domestic Violence Awareness Round.
In their final match of the season, the Caps took the court short-handed with only seven players, as their other seven sat out with injuries. Nicole Munger was the most recent out as she returns from a concussion suffered in the previous match.
For the last time the Caps starting five was Britt Smart, Jade Melbourne, Shaneice Swain, Bec Pizzey and Rae Burrell. While Alex Sharp, Amy Atwell, Sami Whitcomb, Chloe Bibby and Mackenzie Clinch Hoycard suited up for Perth.
It was a tussle right from the beginning as both teams came out firing. Perth got on the scoreboard first with eight unanswered points all from Whitcomb. The Caps came back in style with Pizzey hitting a three-pointer to get her team on the board. Melbourne lead her team in defence earning several early steals to keep possession with the Caps. Sherrie Calleia subbed on in style with a no look assist to Burrell and Swain kept adding to the score line with back-to-back three-pointers. The momentum stayed with Perth the remainder of the quarter as they kept a slim lead over the home side.
Caps 21 – Perth 30
Coming back from the break the Caps made a statement with Swain coming straight on with a three-pointer, before Atwell returned back-to-back three-pointers of her own. Bibby was strong in the paint for Perth while Whitcomb lead the visitors from outside the arc. Smart stepped up to another level for the Caps and worked hard in defence to block multiple shots. Melbourne used her speed to drive through the key and open shots up for her teammates. Perth showed no sign of slowing down and kept pushing to take the lead into the main break.
For the Caps it was Swain leading with 16 points, 3 rebounds and Burrell with 11 points, 6 rebounds. While for Perth, Whitcomb had 22 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, followed by Atwell with 14 points and 5 rebounds.
Caps 44 – Perth 56
Bibby saw the first points of the quarter and Caps head coach, Kristen Veal, called a timeout after her team was unable to find a basket. The reset did the team well as Smart came back on to score straight off the bat and keep the Caps within range on the scoreboard. The highlight of the night came when Swain faked a shot, sent her defender sliding to the floor and turn around to score a three-pointer. As Perth rolled through their substitutes their fresh legs kept the game in fast pace and helped them to maintain their lead. The Caps continued to fight hard, shortening the margin to as little as four-points at one stage as Pizzey kept her exceptional efforts going.
Caps 73 – Perth 79
In their final quarter this season, Melbourne started it off by converting two foul shots before Swain contributed another three-pointer of her own. It was more of the same for Perth as they continued their fine form as Sharp came back on to contribute big points down low. Swain found a connection with Smart who scored a nice layup as the Caps kept pushing in their final efforts. Perth never slowed down as they closed out the final minutes of the match, but it was the home side that made the crowd cheer as their season came to an end.
Caps 94 – Perth 107