UC Caps fall to Flyers at home
An undersized UC Capitals went down to Lauren Jackson and the Southside Flyers 81-97 in front of 1,309 fans.
The Caps were boosted by the return of Liz Tonks and Britt Smart but made no changes to the starting line-up they had against Bendigo, with Jade Melbourne leading alongside Shaneice Swain, Bec Pizzey, Rae Burrell and Nicole Munger. Meanwhile the Flyers went with height and experience to start, with Lauren Jackson, Bec Cole, Carly Ernst, Maddi Rocci and Sarah Blicavs taking the court.
The Caps had the first chance at possession, with Burrell just missing her opening jump shot before the Flyers took it to the other end and scored through Jackson. It didn’t take long for the home team to hit back, with a two-pointer from Swain to kick off their own scoring. The Flyers came out with a game plan to utilise their height and it showed as they found Jackson down low who was able to score some easy points. Both teams picked up the tempo and looked to push the ball for a fast break whenever they could, but it was the Flyers who dominated down low on the rebounds. The Caps hit their form late in the quarter, as they scored five three-pointers in the last three-minutes to claw the scoreline back.
Caps 22 – Flyers 28
To start the second term for the Caps, Swain set the mood by knocking down another three-pointer. However, it was the Flyers who continued to score fast, with Nyadiew Pouch scoring eight-points early for her team. Melbourne kept up the fight for the Caps, doing her best to use her speed and score off some layups. The visitors brought physicality to the match through Kayla Thornton, who extended her teams lead past twenty points. With three minutes to go, Caps head coach, Kristen Veal, called a timeout to help her team to regroup. The opportunity paid off as Chloe Tugliach added her name to the scoresheet and kept her team going. The Caps kept working hard in defence, but it was hard to stop the run of the experienced Flyers who went into the break with a 22-point lead. Swain and Smart lead the scoring for the Caps with eight points each, while for the Flyers it was Thornton with 15 points and eight rebounds.
Caps 40 – Flyers 62
Both teams took their time to settle back in, with three fouls called before the first shot had even sunk. There was plenty of back-and-forth action before it was Burrell who scored the first points but not until almost three-minutes in. The Flyers continued their scoring run with Earnst and Thornton pairing up to work hard within the paint. Veal called another timeout as the Flyers started up a press defence and pulled ahead by 30-points. The Caps made the most of their full bench with Sherrie Calleia and Abby Solway making it on for some big minutes. Smart lead the home side as they kept their heads up despite the constant pressure from the Flyers. A last second steal from Swain inspired the Caps as she converted a foul shot.
Caps 60 – Flyers 87
Pizzey was the first to add some points in the final quarter and the Caps didn’t let the scoreboard get them down as they came out to grab four early steals. The energy of the crowd kept their team going to bring the margin back to 18-points. The Flyers physicality got them into trouble as they reached four team fouls in the first four minutes. Burrell came alive and found herself in the middle of the action for the Caps, while Rocci kept her team fired up. Munger kept the fighting spirit going as she and Tonks each hit a much needed three-pointer from the corner of the court. Despite holding a comfortable lead, the Flyers kept on pushing but the Caps worked hard to keep them from reaching triple digits. Swain finished as the top scorer for the home side on 14 points, followed by Burrell on 13. For the Flyers it was Rocci and Thornton who ended with 22 points each.
Caps 81 – Flyers 97