Capitals v Rangers
Canberra Capitals v Dandenong Rangers at the AIS Arena, January 4. Photo: Graham Tidy
A new year and a new uniform, but it was the same old result for the fumbling, bumbling Canberra Capitals.
Turnovers again proved the Achilles heel of the seven-time champions as they slumped to an eighth-straight loss, going down by 39 points to the red-hot Dandenong Rangers at the AIS Arena on Friday night.
The latest defeat drops the Capitals to 5-11 for the season and leaves them second-last on the ladder with eight games to go.
In contrast, the star-studded Rangers, featuring no less than three Olympians along with classy Minnesota Lynx WNBA guard Monica Wright, who had a game-high 20 points, showed why they're rated as the title favourites with a sensational team performance.
Capitals forward Michelle Cosier left everything on the floor with a gutsy double, with 22 points and 12 rebounds, but it was an astonishing 25 turnovers which gave the hosts no hope of springing the upset.
"Our turnovers are killing us,'' Cosier said. "We're used to that pressure, but we get over aroused and throw the ball away.
"Our season's not over, we've got to play for pride. Even if we don't make finals, we've got to do the club proud.''
The Capitals suffered a double blow before tip-off, with Mikaela Dombkins straining a calf during shoot-around to join Casey Samuels (knee) on the sidelines.
With just nine players suiting up, the Capitals - wearing a one-off yellow strip in honour of Canberra's centenary - were up against it from the outset as the Rangers gained the ascendancy.
Cosier brought the fans back to life with a stunning long-range three-pointer as the quarter-time buzzer sounded to put the Capitals to within two. A physical start to the second quarter favoured the Rangers as they went on a 11-2 run to push the buffer to double digits.
The Capitals began to click offensively, but they couldn't find a way to slow down the potent Rangers, Wright sapping the energy out of the 1101-strong crowd with a clinical three-pointer on the stroke of half-time to give the visitors a commanding 52-35 advantage at the main break.
Another brilliant 12-2 run from the Rangers in the opening two minutes of the third blew the game open as the visitors stretched the margin to 30 points at three-quarter-time.
The Capitals must regroup before they head out on the road for a difficult double-header against the West Coast Waves and Adelaide Lightning next weekend.
AT A GLANCE
WNBL round 13: DANDENONG RANGERS 101 (M Wright 20, S Cumming 19, J O'Hea 15 bt CANBERRA CAPITALS 62 (M Cosier 22, S Norwood 10, N Hunt 7, C Wilson 7) at the AIS Arena on Friday night. Crowd: 1101.