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Losses to Townsville Fire and Canberra Capitals in the final two rounds saw the Southern Design Sydney University Flames miss out on a finals berth in the 2010-11 Women’s National Basketball League.

Townsville, a spot behind the sixth-placed Flames on the competition ladder, rattled Sydney’s cage at the Sydney University Sports and Fitness Centre on Tuesday night with a  comprehensive 91-64 result, presenting the hosts with the task of defeating Canberra in the final competition round on Saturday to earn a finals berth.

But second-placed Canberra lived up to their form and snatched at 55-52 win over the Flames at SUSFC, giving themselves a realistic chance of the WNBL title and relegating the Students to a long winter of contemplation for the 2011-12 season.

Bulleen, with a 19-3 win-loss record, collected the minor premiership for 2010-11, with Canberra (18-4), Bendigo (15-7), Dandenong (12-10) and Logan (12-10) making up the final five.

Despite playing seven of the last nine games at home, the Flames finished on the wrong side of the ledger with a 10-12 season, followed by Townsville (10-12), West Coast (8-14), Adelaide (3-19) and AIS (3-19).

The Flames came close to extending their season after going into the final term on Saturday with a 10-point lead on the back of a solid quarter from Natalie Stafford, Amy Denson, Jaimee Kennedy and Eva Afeaki.

But Canberra tightened the defensive end of the floor in the final quarter and held the Flames to just five points for the fourth period.

Jessica Bibby, who top-scored for the match with 13, delivered a huge blow with  2min 50sec to play when she landed a three-point bomb from the corner to put the Capitals within a point of the hosts. Carly Wilson put the visitors ahead with 24sec on the clock and Bibby sealed the match when she nailed a pair of free throws.

Scoreboard

Canberra Capitals 55 (Jessica Bibby 13, Carly Wilson 10) defeated Southern Design Sydney University Flames 52 (Natalie Stafford 12, Katie-Rae Ebzery 10)  at Sydney University Sports and Fitness Centre.

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