Luckless Canberra Capitals confident of breakthrough win after 12 losses

Canberra Capitals forward Stephanie Talbot scored 20 points in the loss to the Dandenong Rangers Photo: Melissa Adams Young Capitals guard Stephanie Talbot in action. Photo: Jay Cronan

The luckless Canberra Capitals are still fighting to breakthrough for their first win, but declared “we can bite someone on the a—” after another devastating four-point loss to the Dandenong Rangers on Saturday night.

The Capitals have now lost 12 games in a row in the worst slump in the club’s history, and face a massive challenge to pick themselves off the canvass to play the Melbourne Boomers on Sunday.

Teams keep driving the dagger deeper and deeper into the hearts of the former WNBL powerhouse, taking advantage of a lack of confidence and unlucky run which has seen them fall to the bottom of the ladder.

But the 84-80 loss to Dandenong showed there are signs of some life left in the campaign, and after losing the past three games by four, five and six points, coach Carrie Graf said: “no one wants to get bitten on the a— by us.”

Australian Opals youngster Stephanie Talbot was outstanding, rediscovering her scoring mojo and taking control for the Capitals as she powered her way to 20 points, five rebounds, one steal and one assist.

Talbot’s efforts weren’t enough as the Capitals missed open shots and didn’t capitalise on defensive pressure.

“We’re playing the right way now to get wins … Talbot responded today, she’s been struggling for a few weeks but she was much better tonight,” Graf said.

“For 25 or 30 minutes of that game I thought we were there, but there was a patch where we were missing point-blank shots. That’s the nature of not having a win yet. We tighten up a bit, but we’re in the right spot and everyone who plays us knows that.”

“We’ve just got to find a way to break that streak.”

The Capitals outscored Dandenong 30-21 in the last quarter in a spirited comeback, but a second-quarter fade-out cost the visitors dearly as the Rangers drove the dagger deeper into Canberra hearts.

The Capitals’ were out-rebounded 38-28 again, but their defence lifted again to force 22 turnovers to 16. However, they are lacking the confidence that comes with winning form and they need to find the belief to notch their first win of the season.

United States import DeNesha Stallworth was cleared by immigration to start her stint with the seven-time champion Capitals, and her big frame had an impact early on as Canberra skipped out to an early lead.

But when Dandenong fought back to level the score at quarter-time, the Capitals failed to get back in the lead for the rest of the game.​

​DANDENONG RANGERS 84 (Stephanie Cumming 22, Annalise Pickrel 22, Jacinta Kennedy 13) bt CANBERRA CAPITALS 80 (Stephanie Talbot 20, Renee Montgomery 17, Abby Bishop 14) at Dandenong Stadium.

Sunday: Melbourne Boomers v Canberra Capitals at State Basketball Stadium, 3pm.

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