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Canberra 82 Adelaide 85

WNBL: Canberra Capitals lose 20th straight game, going down 85-82 to Adelaide Lightning

Out of all of the Canberra Capitals' 20 losses this season, this one hurt the most.

Taking on the Adelaide Lightning, the team with the second-worst record in the WNBL, the Capitals must have fancied their chances of breaking through for an elusive first win on Sunday.

But those hopes all but vanished when the Capitals found themselves down by 22 points early in the third quarter.

Yet this became a game where the Capitals had a shot on the buzzer to send it to over-time thanks to outstanding performances from Renee Montgomery and Abby Bishop.

Renee Montgomery top-scored for the Canberra Capitals with 27 points in Sunday's 85-82 loss against the Adelaide ...
Renee Montgomery top-scored for the Canberra Capitals with 27 points in Sunday's 85-82 loss against the Adelaide Lightning at the AIS. Photo: Graham Tidy

Jess Bibby's three-pointer bounced out, players scrambled for the loose ball and the Lightning prevailed 85-82 at the AIS Arena.

"They all hurt to me, but it's the fact we allow ourselves to get down 22 and we lose by three," Montgomery said.

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"We have to have everyone engaged at all times. It's been a long season but we have to fight those lapses and we can't let the score get all the way to 22 before we kick in."

Montgomery got it going in the final quarter, nailing a pair of three-pointers among her game-high 27 points to narrow the gap to three with 39.6 seconds on the clock.

Bishop was just as dominant with 26 points, including five from seven beyond the arc, but fouled out late in the game.

Denesha Stallworth (12 points) was the only other Capital to reach double figures.

"We need to get (Opals forward Stephanie Talbot) some looks, we can't just have three people in double figures," Bishop said.

"We need to have that other person to bring it up and we're right there in the ball game."

The Capitals led 7-5 early in the first quarter before Adelaide went on a dominant 21-2 run to open up a comfortable 26-9 advantage at the break.

It was the same old problems that have plagued the Capitals all season — too many turnovers and getting beaten on the offensive rebounds.

They stemmed the bleeding to an extent to get the deficit back to 14 points, but Adelaide continued to find baskets whenever it needed them to take a 20-point lead into half-time.

The Capitals had no answer for Adelaide's long-range shooting, but Montgomery beat the buzzer with a running shot in the key to put the Capitals within 11 points at three-quarter time.

The Capitals have four games remaining, with their next assignment against the Dandenong Rangers at the AIS Arena on Sunday, February 7.

ADELAIDE LIGHTNING 85 (L Mitchell 21 K Standish 20 M Ruef 15) bt CANBERRA CAPITALS 82 (R Montgomery 27 A Bishop 26 D Stallworth 12) at AIS Arena on Sunday.