14
Apr
previous
Riders vs Gladiators
6:00 pm - Loughborough Uni (Netball Centre)
21
Apr
next
Riders @ Gladiators
5:00 pm - PlaySport Arena
27
Apr
next
Riders vs Hatters
6:00 pm - Loughborough Uni (Netball Centre)
Championship Preview: Leicester Riders vs Oaklands Wolves

Leicester Riders return to Championship action, taking on Oaklands Wolves at Loughborough University.

Here’s how the game is shaping up…

Fixture information

Leicester Riders vs Oaklands Wolves

Loughborough University Netball Centre

Saturday, March 2, 6 pm

Get tickets here!

5 on the bounce 

The Riders enter this fixture having won their last five games, catching fire in the mid point of the Women’s British Basketball League Championship season. 

A winning weekend last week brought their record on the season to 11-2, good for second in the standings behind the undefeated London Lions. 

The weekend saw Leicester beat the Newcastle Eagles 90-75 at Mattioli Arena, before hitting the road to beat the Manchester Giants 92-67. All of the Riders wins on this streak have come by over 20 points, and they fire through games and climb the standings.

Star guard Taylor O’Brien has led the team through the stretch. She has led the scoring in the last three, and averaged 27 points over the last two. And the team has continued to assert themselves on the boards, led by Rayven Peeples who has logged a double double in four of the last five. 

The Riders return home to take on the Wolves, who they last played in the second game of the season. 

Contrasting form

In contrast to the Riders’ hot form, the Wolves enter this matchup looking to avoid making it five losses in the row. They have lost the last four by 20, and will look to turn their form around in Loughborough. 

Their last game was a 61-90 loss at home to the third-placed Caledonia Gladiators. They were outrebounded 23-53 by the visitors, so the Wolves will need to crash the glass to get a result against the Riders, who lead the League in offensive rebounding. 

Oaklands are typically solid in that department, pulling down 24.7 defensive rebounds per game, good for sixth in the League. 

Amy West leads them in rebounding with 6.9 per game, but missed a Gladiators game after a collision with a teammate in pregame warmups, which sidelined her with a head injury. Should she return to action against the Riders, she’ll be in for a battle at the rim with Peeples. 

Key matchup 

Topping the Wolves scoring charts this season is American guard Caterrion Thompson, who is averaging 16.2 points per game on the season so far. 

Thompson’s play this season should come as no surprise for those who have followed her career. She arrives in Oaklands having led the scoring for Finnish side Forssain, averaging 18.1 points per game. 

The Ohio-born guard started out her college career at Bowling Green, where she remained until her Junior year. As a Redshirt Junior, Thompson ranked second on her team in scoring with 13.7 points per game and averaged 5.3 rebounds. 

In her final college season with Mississippi State, Thompson averaged 8.1 points and 3.1 rebounds, leading the team in 3-point shooting percentage with 41%.

Tasked with the role of going toe-to-toe with Thompson is fellow American O’Brien. O’Brien, who also leads her team in scoring this season, is capable of going bucket for bucket with anyone in the League, as she demonstrated over her last two games. 

The rookie signed to the Riders from Florida State, averaging 6.7 points for the Seminoles last season. 

She spent four years prior at Bucknell University, leading the team in scoring for two straight seasons and earning a place on the All-Patriot League First team for 2021 and 2022. The Pennsylvania native averaged 16.7 points and 6.5 rebounds in her final season with the Bison.

Expect a battle in the backcourt between these two scoring guards.