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WNBL: Lightning surprise Caps in season-opener

NEW Adelaide Lightning captain Steph Talbot tonight produced an "unwanted" triple-double, dominating proceedings while leading her team to a surprise WNBL season-opening win over defending champion Canberra.

In a thrilling game that went into overtime after scores were deadlocked 70-70 at the end of regulation, Adelaide prevailed 85-73 with a withering 15-3 five-minute extension.

Talbot was magnificent, leading all scorers with 31 points (at 55 per cent), with a game-high 13 rebounds and also, unfortunately, 11 turnovers.

But that was largely because Talbot was in absolutely everything, also producing game highs in steals (7) and blocks (4) along with three assists.

In her first game with her home state team, Alex Wilson (below) dished six assists and delivered 15 points including potential game-breaking back-to-back triples in the third quarter as Adelaide broke away.

When Chelsea Brook stuck a three, Adelaide's lead was out to 13 points and the Capitals were floundering.

Missing the quality trio of Kelsey Griffin, Brittany Smart and Tahlia Tupaea (out injured) stung, despite the tremendous performance of guard Maddi Rocci.

Rocci led the Caps with 21 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, Lightning leading by 10 with a period to play.

Canberra came out with extended pressure and Adelaide coughed up the ball while also giving up four fouls and putting the Caps into bonus within the first two minutes.

On an amazing roll, the Caps took the lead on a Keely Froling three-point play at 66-63 before Louella Tomlinson (10 points at 55 per cent) helped Lightning back ahead with consecutive baskets.

Tied at 70-70, Adelaide seized control of overtime with Talbot prominent and Abbey Wehrung (16 points (3-of-6 threes), three assists and nine rebounds, breaking it open with a huge 3-pointer for a 79-73 buffer.

When Talbot snared a defensive board and went coast-to-coast for 81-73, this one was in the bag.

"We came out aggressive and we played as a team," Wilson said. 

ADELAIDE LIGHTNING 85 (Talbot 31, Wehrung 16, Wilson 15, Brook, Tomlinson 10; Talbot 13 rebs; Wilson 6 assts) d UNI of CANBERRA CAPITALS 73 (Rocci 21, Froling 19, Ruef 13, Tolo 10; Delaney 9 rebs; Rocci 7 assts) in overtime (70-70) in Mackay.

ADELAIDE's new "grey" uniforms are, without any shadow of a doubt, the most hideous the club ever has forced its players into, and they were even the "Adelaide Fellas" once.

What happened to the state colours of red, gold and blue?

The only reason Lightning were ever in the awful navy, bronze and pink colours was to stay in step with the Adelaide 36ers but that close association is long gone.

Why add grey to the gloom, rather than return to the team's rightful colours?

At least it seemed to feel like "old home week" for Talbot and Wilson, who won several junior championships in SA with Eastern Mavericks, home of the grey uniform. Maybe that was the strategy.

Nov 11

Content, unless otherwise indicated, is © copyright Boti Nagy.