UC Capitals put up determined effort against league leaders

January 30, 2024 | UC Capitals news

The UC Capitals have put up a determined effort against ladder leaders, the Townsville Fire, in their third and final match of Fighting Period Poverty Round. 1,699 Caps supporters packed the National Convention Centre for their last match before the FIBA break.

The Caps brought out a new starting five, with Alex Bunton and Gemma Potter making their season debut in the lineup joining Jade Melbourne, Alex Sharp and Alex Fowler.

For the visitors, Courtney Woods, Steph Reid, Sami Whitcomb, Mikaela Ruef and Zitina Aokuso took to the court first.



Following tip off, the Caps made the most of their first possession when Melbourne found Bunton in the paint of a drive and dish to open up the scoring. Townsville soon added to their scoresheet through Reid who made a decisive drive to the basket. Spurred on by their home crowd, the Caps locked in on defence led by Melbourne who came up with a solid block on Reid’s shot and followed it up with a fast break pass to Potter who kicked off her scoring for the night. Halfway through the quarter and both teams were evenly matched with just one point the difference. The Fire looked to Whitcomb to lead their team, with a series of baskets from their captain giving the visitors the lead. Two baskets in a row from substitute Nicole Munger gave the Caps a few points back before heading into quarter time.

Caps 16 – Fire 25





Coming out of the first break, Townsville had their eye on the basket with Whitcomb and Cassandra Brown contributing back-to-back three-pointers. The Caps ran it down to their end and found Sharp who went to work through two defenders to score a layup. The Fire continued on their run and took the game out to a 16-point lead as they shared the scoring between several of their players. Coming back from a time out called by Caps coach, Kristen Veal, the home side found Sharp for a duo of jump shots and Monica Okoye for a three pointer. Both teams lifted their defensive efforts up a notch to put the pressure on, but it was the Caps who prevailed to bring it back to a five-point game with big contributions from Potter. Ruef had the final say right before the half time buzzer with a jump shot to finish the period.

Top scorers for the Caps were Potter with 9 points, 1 assist, 1 rebound and Alex Sharp with 9 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist. While for the Fire it was Whitcomb with 13 points, 3 rebounds and Reid with 10 points, 4 assists.

Caps 40 – Fire 47



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The Caps came out hot off the main break, with Potter immediately knocking down a three-pointer followed by Bunton with a lay up of her own. Ruef opened the scoring for the Fire with two successful free-throws to keep it at a five-point margin. Fowler battled it out at both ends for her team, going up against Aokuso and Ruef who combined as a formidable pair. The Caps continued their rotations in offence, which paid off with a perfect three-pointer from Munger however, Townsville were the ones to put the pressure on to start a scoring run to take the margin back out to double-digits.

Caps 56 – Fire 76


Potter started the final quarter the same way she started the last with another three-pointer to her name. For the visitors, it was Whitcomb who opened the scoring with a turn around jump shot before Ruef followed up with another. Jayda Clark scored her first points of the night off the back of a strong drive to the basket which got the crowd on their feet. Brown and Whitcomb continued to combine for the visitors to keep their team in a lead. Clark hit her second shot of the night off an open three-pointer, which Potter matched on their next trip down their end of the court. With 90 seconds left the Caps found their momentum and brought the game back to within 8-points. The ladder leaders kept their heads level for the final seconds to run out the win.

Top scorer for the match was Potter with a career high 25 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and Sharp with 15 points, 4 assist, 4 rebounds. Leading for the Fire was Reid with 23 points, 7 assists and 1 rebound, and Whitcomb with 22 points, 3 rebounds and 1 assist.

Caps 83 – Fire 91