Basketball

Canadian Kia Nurse's last-minute winner propels Canberra to 2nd straight Australian women's basketball title

Kia Nurse of Hamilton hit the game-winning shot with 21 seconds left on the clock to lift the Canberra Capitals to their second consecutive Australian women's basketball league title on Wednesday.

League MVP scores with 21 seconds left to cap 18-point performance

Kia Nurse of Hamilton celebrates Canberra's second consecutive Australia women's basketball league title on Wednesday. Her winning shot lifted the Capitals to a 71-68 victory over the Southside Flyers. (Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

Canada's Kia Nurse hit the game-winning shot to lift the Canberra Capitals to their second consecutive Australian women's basketball league title on Wednesday.

The 24-year-old guard from Hamilton, and this season's league MVP, hit the winning basket with 21 seconds left off a steal and pass from previous MVP Kelsey Griffin, and the Capitals beat the Southside Flyers 71-68.

"It was the most open I'd been all game so I had to knock it down," Nurse told reporters after the game. "I've been in a lot of different leagues and on a lot of different teams but this team just never gives up. They don't understand what the term optional means, they never take a rest."

Nurse finished with 18 points for the Capitals, who clawed back from a 16-point first-half deficit against the Flyers. Trailing 45-31, they went on a 15-0 run to take the lead in Game 2 of Grand Final series.

Olivia Epoupa had 16 points and 11 assists in front of 4,481 fans.

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This was Nurse's second season playing in the eight-team WNBL, Australia's pro women's league.

Nurse had a standout second season with the WNBA's New York Liberty, earning WNBA all-star honours. A large percentage of WNBA players spend their off-seasons playing in pro leagues such as Australia's.

Nurse was also a two-time NCAA champion with Connecticut Huskies. She recently helped Canada's women's team book its third consecutive Olympic berth for Tokyo 2020.

 

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