A buzzer-beater by Lindsay Moore handed the West Coast Waves a hard-fought 70-68 win over the University of Canberra Capitals at the WA Basketball Centre.
While Moore played the hero, Cassie Harberts led the way for the Waves, keeping them in touch in the first half and finishing with a game-high 16 points and seven rebounds.
Jess Bibby racked up 15 points in a losing effort for the Caps, while Abby Bishop and Abi Wehrung each collected 13 points, the captain also recording a team-high 10 boards.
West Coast coach Kennedy Kereama was understandably thrilled with the result but acknowledged "it could have gone either way" before Moore clinched it with "an extremely tough" jumper.
Saying the win was the result of a full team performance, Kereama highlighted the huge effort of Harberts – particularly in the early stages.
"Cassie held us above water in the first half," he said.
The Waves reversed a 47-29 hammering on the boards in Round 4 to pull down 35 rebounds to the Capitals’ 22. Kereama praised the team’s ability to bring the "defensive intensity" that held the Caps to just 28 points in the second half, after allowing them just 64 points in 40 minutes a week ago.
"But we know there’s a long way to go," he said, "and we can be so much better."
The Waves controlled possession in the early going, Louella Tomlinson opening the scoring and Harberts following with a jump-shot and a free throw to give the home team a five-point advantage before the Capitals could hit the scoreboard.
An Antonia Edmondson three-pointer extended West Coast’s early lead to 10-2 but the Caps gradually closed the gap, Bibby striking from range to level the scores before the teams traded baskets to enter the first change tied 15-15.
Back-to-back threes by Alice Coddington got the visitors going early in the second quarter, before Bibby connected twice more from beyond the arc to lead the Caps to a 40-37 edge at the main break.
The Waves took their first lead of the second half on a pair of free throws by Deanna Smith, but the visitors again pulled back in front to take a 55-51 edge into the final change as a big finish loomed.
The nail-biting last quarter featured several lead changes in the final minutes. Harberts followed up a missed shot by Moore with less than three minutes left to knot the game at 62-62, but four straight points by Wehrung got the Caps back on top.
West Coast edged ahead through Edmondson inside the final minute, only to see Bibby take back the lead moments later. Harberts followed by making one of her two free-throw attempts to make it 68-68, setting the stage for Moore’s last-gasp jumper.
West Coast 70 (Harberts 16, Moore 13, Graham 13, Tomlinson 10)
University of Canberra 68 (Bibby 15, Bishop 13, Wehrung 13)
Article from WNBL.com.au
Photo by Mick Cronin