Capitals v Waves
The Capitals closed the regular WNBL season with a 62-60 loss against the West Coast Waves at AIS Arena. Photo: Jay Cronan
Jess Bibby missed a difficult, potential game-winning buzzer beater as the Canberra Capitals fell short of giving coach Carrie Graf a possible parting gift.
The Capitals ended a forgettable season in gut-wrenching style, fighting their way back only to see Antonia Edmondson's jump shot with 0.8 seconds left give bottom-placed West Coast a 62-60 victory.
A scrappy and downright ugly affair at the AIS Arena on Friday night came to life in the final quarter as the Capitals rallied from a seven-point deficit for one final chance to win the game.
Nicole Hunt inbounded the ball to Bibby on the three-point line, the renowned sharp-shooter fading back but unable to connect in front of the 1148-strong crowd.
"We shouldn't have been in that position in the first place, it's a disappointing way to finish the year,'' Bibby said.
"We ran that last play perfectly and I couldn't have had a cleaner look. That's my job and I couldn't knock it down. That'll eat away for a bit.''
The Capitals endured a tough season on and off the court.
Lauren Jackson's impending arrival placed high expectations on the perennial contenders, only for the four-time Olympian not to play due to a chronic hamstring injury.
The Capitals won five of their first eight games, before a record nine-game losing streak.
All focus now is on whether Graf returns.
She is set to make a decision next week after she stood down from the Australian Opals head coaching role to become the coach-in-residence for the University of Canberra.
Forward Michelle Cosier took to the court sporting a clear plastic face mask a week after breaking her nose in the loss to Bendigo, but removed it before half-time.
Neither side could make a break in the first three quarters.
Just as the Waves appeared to gain the ascendancy in the final term, a Bibby three-pointer and back-to-back baskets from Casey Samuels tied the scores with 1:35 left on the clock. Edmondson missed a short jumper, but made no mistake with her second chance.
WNBL round 19: WEST COAST WAVES 62 (N Burton 16, A Todhunter 10) bt CANBERRA CAPITALS 60 (N Hunt 18, J Bibby 14) at the AIS Arena on Friday night. Crowd: 1148.