UC Capitals go down in first hit out against Bendigo

January 14, 2024 | UC Capitals news

The UC Capitals took to the court against the Bendigo Spirit for the first time this season, with the same starting five of Jade Melbourne, Alex Sharp, Alex Fowler, Nicole Munger and Monica Okoye. Bec Pizzey returned to the team list, following just over three months of injury and rehab. The starting five for Bendigo was Ally Wilson, Mehryn Kraker, Kelly Wilson, Kelsey Griffin and Ruth Davis.

Quarter 1

Four wins from five and the UC Capitals went into their first game against Bendigo with energy and purpose. Bendigo won the ball at tip off, but it was Canberra’s Monica Okoye who denied Bendigo their first points of the afternoon through a steal. The first shots instead went to co-captain Jade Melbourne who was awarded two free throws. Kelsey Griffin was quick to reply and use her body to score in the paint. The Caps did well to get out in transition and bring energy to the first quarter and remained tall in defence. Bec Pizzey stepped onto the court for the first time in season 23/24 and the Caps were able to get up by 6, with three’s coming from Gemma Potter and Monica Okoye. A high scoring opening quarter saw the Caps go into the break, two points ahead.

Caps 24, Spirit 22

Quarter 2

Both sides were slower to score in quarter two, with Bendigo’s Ally Wilson first to find the bucket, as she tied things up for the home side. From there, the lead continued to switch hands as Alex Sharp, Kelsey Griffin and Jade Melbourne drove through the defence. Jayda Clark showed poise to contribute to the battle, as she was subbed in for an embattled Jade Melbourne. As UC Capitals Head Coach Kristen Veal felt the momentum shift against them, she called a time out. The Caps came back out calmer, with Fowler and Munger each getting on the score board, while Jade Melbourne’s returning influence brought control back to the Caps as the buzzer sounded with 45 points on the board for each side.

Caps 45, Spirit 45

Quarter 3

An offensive rebound for Alex Sharp tipped off proceedings in quarter 3, who continued to come out of nowhere to find the O board. The lead fell back into Spirit’s hands though, who found themselves seven points head a minute into the third stanza. It then became a job for the Caps to reduce the lead from double digits with Jayda Clark shooting a three, followed soon after by Jade Melbourne, both showing skill beyond their years. Despite Canberra working hard, to margin got away from them, heading into the final 10 minutes, 19 points behind

Caps 56, Spirit 75

Quarter 4

It was a good first look for the Caps in quarter 4 saw Fowler head to the free throw line for two. Jade Melbourne delivered another no look pass to Alex Fowler but overall the Caps struggled to find the basket, only scoring 10 points in the final term, including Pizzey’s first points for the season. Up the other end and the guests did well to make some stops but Bendigo protected the lead well.

Caps 66, Spirit 88