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Bishop faces up to season's frustrations

Date

Jon Tuxworth

Capitals 88 bt Boomers 74

Canberra Capitals' Abby Bishop scored a WNBL career-high 29 points on Saturday.

Canberra Capitals' Abby Bishop scored a WNBL career-high 29 points on Saturday. Photo: Graham Tidy

Canberra Capitals forward Abby Bishop is certainly not one for shirking responsibility.

And just a day after sharing her inspiring tale of caring for her baby niece, the forward was forthright when asked about the Capitals' up-and-down season after Saturday's 88-74 win over Melbourne.

The road victory was Canberra's third on the trot, but barring a miracle it is resigned to missing the play-offs for the third straight season.

Bishop admitted that beating three of the top four teams on the way only added to the frustration, after posting a WNBL career-high 29 points to go with nine rebounds and three three-pointers against the Boomers.

''We seem to beat the top four teams, it's just the lower teams we've struggled with this season,'' she told the ABC.

''We wanted to come out and finish the season strongly because we know we've been disappointed with ourselves and could have and should have done better than we have.''

Minus forward Rachel Jarry and centre Chelsea Poppens through injury, Bishop was a focal point inside alongside post partner Alex Bunton (14 rebounds, seven points).

Canberra won the assists count 24-14, and Bishop's dominance opened up the Capitals' perimeter game.

The visitors nailed 11 of 24 from beyond the arc in its ninth win of the season.

Capitals skipper Jess Bibby scored 19 points, while Rebecca Allen (21 points) battled hard for Melbourne.

''Bishop was by far the MVP - she plays both ends of the floor and everything in between,'' Canberra coach Carrie Graf said.

''Our focus was to use our bigs. They were undersized, particularly with [Chelsea] Poppens out, and we had an inside-outside game.''

The Capitals will fancy their chances of pressing second-placed Dandenong on Sunday, after defeating the Rangers away from home earlier this year and almost upsetting them again in Canberra.

Graf said their late-season matches against top-four opposition would help decide who remained on the roster next year.

''We didn't get wins when we had injured players and had a slow start with matches on the road, but that's how seasons go sometimes.

''We can't go 'woulda, shoulda, coulda', it hasn't happened. Closing it out now augurs well for the players we want to keep on the roster for next year.''

CANBERRA CAPITALS 88 (ABishop 29, J Bibby 19, N Hunt 11) bt MELBOURNE BOOMERS 74 (RAllen 21, R Cole 13, A Todhunter 12, T Madgen 12) at State Basketball Centre, Victoria.

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