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Capitals crowned WNBL champions

The University of Canberra Capitals capped off a stellar season claiming the 2018/19 WNBL Championship with a 20-point win at home over the Adelaide Lighting on Saturday 16 February.

It was a deserved result for the Canberra side who won 13 of their last 14 games, with their only defeat coming by a point in game two of the grand final series.

The 74-73 loss in Adelaide on Wednesday 13 February was not without controversy. Adelaide Lightning’s Nicole Seekamp’s final shot may have come moments after the siren blew, while Capitals fans were calling for a travel on Lauren Nicholson seconds before the shot.

The WNBL issued a statement on Thursday 14 February which said: “In relation to the final shot of the game, through the current broadcast technology the league does not have the capacity to implement an Instant Replay System (IRS) and has not for the past two seasons. Therefore, the call on the night stands.”

The result levelled the series, after the Capitals won game one on 9 February, meaning game three was required to find the WNBL champions.

In front of a 4,820 strong crowd at the AIS Arena last Saturday, the Capitals proved too strong for the Lightning, securing a 93-73 win and the club’s eighth WNBL title.

The result was the second championship for Leilani Mitchell, the third for Marianna Tolo (all with the Caps), the fourth for Kelly Wilson and her second in a row after claiming the title with Townsville last season, while Kelsey Griffin claimed her third championship and her third Rachael Sporn Grand Final MVP.

UC Capitals captain Kelsey Griffin was named the Most Valuable Player at the 2018/19 WNBL awards on 18 February. Image supplied.

Griffin named MVP

University of Canberra Capitals captain Kelsey Griffin capped off a stellar season when she was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) at the 2018/19 WNBL awards on Monday 18 February.

Griffin polled 119 votes out of a maximum 189, 20 clear of her closest rival, to claim her first MVP award as voted by the coaches and head referee following each game through the regular season.

Throughout the season, Griffin averaged 19.3 points (third most in the league), 11.6 rebounds (first), 1.8 steals (fifth) and one block (eighth) per game while leading the competition for field goals made and offensive rebounds.

She was named to the Team of the Week on 11 occasions, Player of the Week twice and was the December Play of the Month in an incredibly consistent campaign for her first season with the UC Capitals.

The award also saw Griffin feature in the All-Star Five. The inclusion marks her third All-Star Five award for her career and first since 2016.

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