Capitals cruise to victory

Canberra Capitals in action. Photo: John Preller
Canberra Capitals in action. Photo: John Preller

The Canberra Capitals returned to their spiritual home for round 15 of the WNBL, beating the West Coast Waves 96-65.

Sports Wizard®’s Basketball Ambassador, Natalie Hurst, made an impact off the bench and the team was superbly led by Jess Bibby.

Canberra Coach and Sports Wizard® Head of Basketball, Carrie Graf, would have been delighted with the big win, which gave some of the younger players game time and their chance to prove their worth to the Club.

Check out the full story below, courtesy of the WNBL website.

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The Canberra Capitals have proven far too good for the West Coast Waves, extending the visitors’ winless run to 19 games with a 96-65 victory at Southern Cross Stadium in Canberra on Saturday night.

Despite the best efforts of the Waves’ Antonia Edmondson, the Capitals stretched their lead in every quarter thanks in large part to some excellent shooting from beyond the arc.

Canberra nailed 13-of-26 three pointers, with reserve Jess Bibby leading the way with five threes on seven attempts off the bench.

Bibby led all scorers with 32, with fellow reserve Carley Mijovic adding 20 points and 10 rebounds. Star big Abby Bishop also had a double-double with 18 points and 12 boards.

Canberra captain Natalie Hurst had an excellend all-around game with 10 points, seven assists and five rebounds and Isabelle Strunc also scored in double figures with 10.

Canberra assistant coach Brendan Parnell thought his team did what they needed to do against a struggling team on the back end of two road games in two nights.

“We played the way we can and won a game we should win,” Parnell said.

“Perth’s in a tough spot playing in Sydney last night and only coming into Canberra this morning.

“Kennedy [Kereama, Waves coach] is doing a good job in a tough situation.”

As for Bibby, Parnell was pleased for his super-sub.

“She’s mercurial,” he said. “She’s like a microwave, she can just get hot in a second.”

“A lot of NBA teams have a player like her who they can bring off the bench and get hot.

“Every time she got any kind of space tonight she put it up.”

Parnell thought Bibby would have enjoyed the game more than anyone.

“Nothing pleases her more than having a shooting night like she did tonight. She’s a great natural shooter.”

Waves coach Kennedy Kereama said his team had no answer for the sharp-shooter.

“I think anything we did tonight was negated by Jess Bibby.” Kereama said.

“She was really hard to contain.”

But it wasn’t just Bibby who was hot from deep. Four Capitals knocked down at least two triples and Kereama said he felt there wasn’t much his team could do to stop them.

“Defensively, we could have been better, but you can’t do much when they’re pulling up two, three feet outside and shooting like that,” he said

“A lot of them came in transition … Canberra just had a great shooting night.”

For the visitors, Edmondson was superb with 26 points, but struggled after half time and received little help. Darcee Garbin was the only other Wave to score double-digits with 12.

Both coaches praised the efforts of Edmondson.

“I mean this as an absolute compliment – she plays like a boy,” Parnell said.

“With her athleticism, the places she can take off from to shoot … she gave us a lot of trouble.”

“She had a tremendous game, but it’s hard for her to single-handedly keep them in the game, even if she did in the first half.

“Eventually, she ran out of steam.”

Kereama was also pleased with his star, who fouled out.

“She was hot in the first half, unfortunately she ended up getting into foul trouble and eventually fouled out of the game.”

Edmondson led the way for the Waves early, scoring 12 points in the opening period, but the visitors trailed 25-19 after one term.

Things could have been worse for the Waves if the home team had been able to convert their five first-quarter offensive boards into more than two second-chance points.

Canberra star Bishop had eight points and four rebounds and Bibby had seven points off the bench at quarter time.

The Capitals stretched their lead in the second quarter despite the best efforts of Edmondson, who had 21 first-half points.

Led by Bibby (19 points in the half) and Mijovic (10) Canberra outscored West Coast 26-18 to go into the locker room leading 51-37 at the break.

The third quarter went much the same as the others, with Canberra extending their lead by a further seven points to take a 72-51 lead into the final quarter.

The Capitals blew the Waves out of the water in the final term, outscoring them 24-14 to continue the cellar dwellers’ season of woe

Canberra 96 (Bibby 32, Mijovic 20, Bishop 18)
West Coast 65 (Edmondson 26, Garbin 12)

This story originally appeared on the WNBL website, titled ‘Rd 15 Report: Canberra make light work of West Coast’, on 18 January, 2014.