Logan steals Capitals' thunder with first half rout
Thunder 74 - Capitals 59
Canberra Capital Nicole Hunt gets around Logan's Emma Langford. Photo: Jeffrey Chan
Their campaign is not yet at its halfway mark but the Canberra Capitals' season could be defined by the next two weeks after a shock 74-59 loss to Logan at AIS Arena on Friday night.
In one of the more disappointing home defeats in recent memory, the Capitals were ambushed by a more spirited and intense Logan to trail 47-29 at half-time.
Canberra rallied to get within three points midway through the final quarter but the eighth-placed Thunder steadied to pull off one of the upsets of the season.
The loss is a crippling blow for the Capitals (5-5) who face a torrid four-game road schedule the next fortnight, beginning with a trip to title favourites Dandenong on Saturday night.
That stretch also includes a trip to third-placed Adelaide, and the Capitals must lift to maintain their top four spot before Christmas.
The Capitals were their own worst enemy in the first half, where they committed 14 of their 22 turnovers.
And Logan made them pay, outscoring the Capitals 23-2 in the points-off-turnovers stakes to take a grip on the match.
But while their offence struggled, a lack of defensive desperation and inability to stop Logan's transition play hurt them most.
The Capitals were far more desperate to start the second half, scoring the opening nine points of the third term to reduce the deficit to nine at three-quarter time.
But the hole they dug themselves in the first two quarters proved too much to recover from.
Shattered Capitals' skipper Jess Bibby was at a loss for words to explain the result, easily Canberra's worst loss of the season.
''It's hard to really know what to say after a performance like that,'' Bibby said.
''It's hard to win games when you have 14 turnovers in the first half, and they translate that into 23 points,'' she said.
''We struggled with some defensive stuff early, and they were able to capitalise.
''It doesn't get much more disappointing than than this tonight.''
Few people will give Canberra any chance against the star-studded Rangers on Saturday night.
But Bibby declared they'll head south hell-bent on restoring pride after their Thunder embarrassment.
''We spoke about going 1-1 this weekend, which means we have to go down to Dandenong and cause an upset,'' she said.
''It's something we can certainly do, we've beaten [competition leader] Bendigo, who have beaten Dandenong a couple of times.
''We'll go down with a pretty determined mindset after tonight. It's doesn't get much more disappointing.''
AT A GLANCE
LOGAN THUNDER 74 (Laurie Koehn 16, Kristen Veal 13, Lindsay Laur 12) beat CANBERRA CAPITALS 59 (Jess Bibby 14, Brigitte Ardossi 13, Carly Wilson 9) at AIS Arena last night. Crowd: 1424.