Tough defence propels Sparks to victory over the Capitals Academy

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The Southern Design Sydney Uni Sparks shook off a tough loss last week to take down the Canberra Capitals Academy 59-54 in Round Thirteen, keeping their finals hopes alive. With the race to make the top eight ever so close, the victory moves the Sparks into 10th position with two rounds of the regular season remaining.

The Sparks got off to a great start against the Caps who were bolstered by the inclusion of Australian Opal, Kelsey Griffin. Lara McSpadden got the ball rolling early, scoring the first four points for the Sparks. Emily Simons and Sherie Callea also chipped in as the Sparks took a comfortable 17-8 lead into the first break.

The tables soon turned and a poor second quarter from the visiting side allowed the Capitals to get back in the game, with the scores locked at 26 apiece heading into half time.

The rest of the match remained close as the Sparks struggled to keep the Capitals off the boards. However, despite being outrebounded 56-38, the Sparks held tough and applied strong defensive pressure holding a formidable Capitals roster to just 54 points to take a five point win.

In her last regular season game before heading away on the Opals tour of China, Tahlia Tupaea put on a strong showing with 18 points and 5 steals. Simons had a fantastic game off the bench with 16 points, shooting at 70%. McSpadden and Callea also finished the game in double figures with 10 points apiece.

The Sparks will be fighting for a spot in the finals at 7pm on Friday 13th July when they take on the Frankston Blues. The last time these two teams met in Frankston in round five, the Sparks came out on top 64-57.