Talbot leads Lightning to extra time win in WNBL opener
A DOMINANT extra time scoring blitz has lifted the Adelaide Lightning to an 85-73 win over the Canberra Capitals in the WNBL opener in Mackay on Wednesday night.
With scores level at 70-all entering added minutes, the Caps scored first but from there it was all the Lightning as Christopher Lucas' side rolled to a 12-point win in the opener.
Opals star Stephanie Talbot starred for the Lightning with 31 points and 13 rebounds as Adelaide began its 2020 season on the perfect note.
Adelaide took a 10-point advantage into the final change however the Caps, lead by the scoring prowess of Maddison Rocci (21 points), quickly hit the front in the final stanza before the two tiring teams traded scoring blows.
Lightning guard Alex Wilson's shot went up to break the deadlock with two seconds to go but bounced off the rim, sending the season opener into extra time.
Earlier, Adelaide piled on 24 points to 15 in the third stanza to break the game wide open, after Louella Tomlinson, a former local hero for the Mackay Meteorettes, had previously lifted the Lightning to a one-point lead on the halftime buzzer.
Former Caps guard Abigail Wehrung was the catalyst for Lightning's third-quarter scoring run when she put down a long-range three to get the Adelaide bench on its feet.
It was from the same spot in extra time that Wehrung sank another three, signalling a second Lightning scoring blitz the Caps would ultimately have no answer for.
Wehrung went 3-6 from beyond the arc, while Talbot's best work came in the paint and from the line.
Lucas said though Talbot's performance was "expected" from someone of her calibre, it was particularly pleasing because the skipper had not been able to train for a week due to illness.
"Steph is an athlete that needs to continually train and she hasn't been able to do that, for reasons, but she found a way and made some big buckets at the right time," he said.
Of Wehrung, someone Lucas had previously coached prior to her joining Adelaide in the off-season, the coach was full of praise for the "low maintenance" guard.
"I have a lot of belief in Abbey. She's one of the most coachable players I've ever coached to be honest," he said.
"She gets the job done and she made some big buckets (tonight) and that's what she's there for. I'm really pleased for her.
"I wasn't happy with our execution for a lot of the game, but I thought down the stretch that three ball by Abbey off an execution was really important for us. To make those decisions under fatigue and when there's a bit of scoreboard pressure on was really important for us."
WNBL ROUND 1 -
ADELAIDE LIGHTNING 85 d. CANBERRA CAPITALS 73 at Mackay Basketball Stadium