The Capitals came away with the win in a nail-biting finish, beating the Sydney Uni Flames 74-72 with Opal Nat Hurst stealing the win in the dying seconds at the ACUVUE Sports Hall on Friday night.
ACUVUE Sydney Uni Flame Suzy Batkovic-Brown had the game high score of 24 but it wasnít enough compared to Canberra TransACT Capitals forwardTolo. Tolo played a stellar game notching up a double-double with 23 points 15 rebounds and only 1 foul. Other top scorers included Jessica Bibby with 15 points and Natalie Hurst with 12.
The Flames entered the court with intensity and tight defence. After the first turn it looked like the Flames would dominate, leading the Capitals 24-15.
The first quarter saw Eva Afeaki take a fall keeping her out for most of the second quarter. The Capitals then ran away with the second period out-scoring the Flames 21-5. By half time the Caps had turned the game around, leading 36-29.
The third term was a tug of war for the lead, the Flames evening the score to 42 all with 5 minutes to go. But some crucial 3ís from Capitals guard Jessica Bibby brought the lead out to 10 before the last quarter, 64-54.
The Flames worked hard to come back from 10 down and slowly chipped away at the Capitalsí lead. Nat Porter hit some important threes but Bibby always had a reply. The match tightened up to one point with a layup from Batkovic-Brown in the last minute.
A Capitals turnover lead to a foul on Batkovic-Brown sending her to the line with 6 seconds to go. Batkovic-Brown missed the first and made the second shot, evening the scores.
The shot of the match came from Natalie Hurst with 3 seconds to go, an amazing fade-away to the left that left the Sydney crowd speechless.
The Flames will rest up and prepare for their Round 5 match against the AIS. The Capitals head back to Canberra to play current 2nd place team Adelaide on Sunday.
Canberra TransACT Capitals 74 (Marianna Tolo 23, Jessica Bibby 15, Natalie Hurst 12) bt
ACUVUE Sydney Uni Flames 72 (Suzy Batkovic-Brown 24, Deanna Smith 18, Natalie Porter 9)
Photos courtesy of Rob Sheeley