Caps score confidence boost
It was a win against an opponent they were expected to beat comfortably in every department.
But for a team in dire need of a confidence boost, yesterday's 100-65 thrashing of West Coast Waves at the AIS Arena may be just the tonic the Canberra Capitals need.
With centre Marianna Tolo (21 points, seven rebounds, seven assists) dominating her undersized opposition, Canberra recorded its second win of the season.
Given the weakness of the Perth-based minnow not too much can be read into the victory, but Canberra's offence looked much more in sync.
The Capitals have relied on perimeter shooting for much of this season, but their emphasis on going inside as much as possible reaped huge dividends.
They used their size advantage to full effect early, with Tolo scoring 15 of her points in the first half.
And when the Waves double-teamed her in the second half, Jess Bibby (21 points), Carly Wilson (18 points) and Nicole Hunt (14 points) took advantage of the extra space from long range.
At 2-7, Capitals coach Carrie Graf wasn't getting carried away with the performance against a side which has only beaten winless AIS this season.
''Coming off that win at least we got some confidence if we put things together we can compete well,'' Graf said.
''Our passing still let us down which is something we have to work on, our decision making and passing hasn't been good. That sort of basketball isn't going to beat a lot of other teams we're playing.''
Forward Natalie Porter played her final game for Canberra until at least the new year due to work commitments.
Porter played more of a distributor role as a link player with Hunt, and the Capitals will need to work out how to cover her absence.
The 30-year-old racked up seven assists early before sitting out most of the second half, allowing bench ''bigs'' Hannah Bowley and Brigitte Ardossi (10 points, nine rebounds) to play more minutes.
''That's why today was good, we got the chance to give Hannah and 'Biz' [Ardossi] some more game time and play with Tolo,'' Graf said.
Tolo attempted just four shots and scored nine points in Canberra's 63-59 loss to Bendigo on Friday.
Giving her more looks worked a treat and will undoubtedly be a focus for the Capitals in coming weeks.
''The girls did a great job to get it inside, and it opened up on the perimeter as well when they came and doubled me,'' Tolo said. ''In the first half we had so many good extra passes and moved the ball really well, that's something we have to bring into the next couple of games.''
Canberra will have more time to work on its offence against AIS at Albury on Friday night, before a bye the following week.