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Stallworth stepping up, but Canberra Capitals seek better spread against Perth

It was her best performance in the WNBL, but DeNesha Stallworth would trade all 31 of her points against Bendigo last week for a breakthrough Canberra Capitals win. 

Capitals coach Carrie Graf is banking on a more even offensive spread as Canberra look to secure a first victory of the season against Perth at Belconnen on Saturday night. 

Mid-season signing Stallworth was a lone hand for the Caps in Bendigo, shooting 12-19 from the field and dragging down six rebounds. 

However, last year's WNBL Most Valuable Player, Abby Bishop, went scoreless and Australian Opals youngster Steph Talbot (13 points) stepped up late after a quiet first half. 

"I though it was Stallworth's best game in the WNBL, and certainly her best in a Canberra Capitals uniform," Graf said. 

"It was building toward that and it was a great match up with [Gabe] Richards, and she came out on top. 


"Unfortunately as a group we didn't have enough support around that. 

"We need to get a game where we have different pieces clicking at different times. 

"Bish went a little bit quiet and didn't take some shots she'd normally take on the interior. 

"She said post game she got a whack on the shoulder, she sat out training with the Opals tour coming up [next week], but there's no doubt about her playing on the weekend."

The match is the Capitals' last chance to bag a win before the WNBL goes on hiatus due to the Opals test event in Brazil, featuring Talbot and Bishop. 

Stallworth is settling into Canberra's system after her split from South-East Queensland Stars and is craving team success. 

"I think I did pretty well [against Bendigo] but my goal is to try and get a win for the team," she said. 

"We just need to get over the hump and trust if we stay together, the end result will work out in our favour. 

"I definitely enjoy being here, when you're happy off the court it makes it ten times easier to perform on the court. 

"I'm just happy Graffy took me in, the team is amazing and it's been a great experience so far.

"We need to play for 40 minutes, quite often we play 35 minutes in games."


WNBL: Canberra Capitals v Perth Lynx at Belconnen Basketball Stadium, 7pm.