WNBL: Jess Bibby's big moment fails to snap Canberra Capitals out of slump

WNBL: Jess Bibby's big moment fails to snap Canberra Capitals out of slump

Jess Bibby was honoured before her record-breaking 378th WNBL game but there was little else to cheer for the Canberra Capitals after their winless start to the season stretched to eight games with a 78-71 loss to Adelaide on Saturday night.

Not even Bibby's milestone and the fact Adelaide, who have just one win thus far, played at Sydney the night before could help Canberra snap out of its slump.

Bibby (20 points) did everything she could to spark her team but another offensive drought after half-time contributed to their demise after scores were level 40-all at the main break.

Canberra was smashed 52-30 in rebounding, a recurring problem all season, and the Lightning took advantage of their huge possession advantage.

Bibby was the centre of attention for autograph hunters afterward and Capitals captain Carly Wilson was shattered they couldn't make her big moment more special.


"It was hugely disappointing tonight. It was the one I thought we could have got but above all that I really wanted to get it done for Jess Bibby and I feel so disappointed we weren't able to get it done for her," Wilson said.

"I feel really sad about it because she's a superstar and she deserved a win tonight."

Canberra's offence straight after half-time has been a problem area and it cost them again, Adelaide building a 10-point lead in the term they never relinquished.

The frustration was evident in the third quarter with Capitals forward Bishop (19 points, 11 rebounds) protesting at some referee calls against her side.

Kyla Standish (20 points) and Alex Ciabattoni (15 points) contributed 35 points off the bench between them.

Adelaide took an early 14-6 lead, with Kelly Bowen (14 points) and former Capital Mikaela Dombkins leading the way.

Adelaide led 23-21 at quarter-time, but despite being out rebounded 29-17, the Capitals drew level at the main break, thanks mainly to 15 first-half points from Bishop.

A couple of Adelaide free throws gave them a 67-57 lead with five minutes left and they held on for their second win, despite a couple of late Bibby threes.

Wilson admitted their rebounding issues have to be addressed immediately if they are to compete against defending champion Townsville next week, who beat them by 44 up north earlier in the season.

"I felt like we started the third quarter with pretty good energy but offensively we didn't flow into anything and we were stagnant," she said.

"That's fine if you're getting consistent stops on defence but we weren't doing that.

"We addressed it at half-time and Graffy [coach Carrie Graf] said that's where the game's at right now, if we're going to lose the possession by 20 boards we're not going to have a chance."

Wilson is in her first season as captain and faces a challenge to keep morale high.

"It is tough. I'm the eternal optimist and sometimes it's a weakness of mine because people don't want to hear it all the time," she said.

"Townsville will underestimate us and so they should the way we're playing right now, but all it takes is a game like that and things can turn around."

ADELAIDE LIGHTNING 78 (Kyla Standish 20, Alex Ciabattoni 15, Kelly Bowen 14) d


CANBERRA CAPITALS 71 (Jess Bibby 20, Abby Bishop 19, Renee Montgomery 14)

at AIS Arena on Saturday night. Crowd: 915