Preview: Leicester Riders vs Sheffield Hatters

Leicester Riders conclude their Women’s British Basketball League campaign against the Sheffield Hatters, in a game to decide third and fourth place in the Championship standings. 

A win for the Riders will see them lock up third with a 16-4 record, but a loss would see the Hatters take the tiebreaker and third place at 15-5. 

One to watch 

Georgia Gayle 

14.1 points, 4.1 assists, 3.9 rebounds

Hatters leading scorer and 2024 All Star Georgia Gayle is the number one scoring threat the Riders will need to key in on in this matchup. 

The granddaughter of Betty Codona, the pioneer of women’s British basketball and founder of the Hatters, Gayle is a GB international and experienced professional. 

This season, she leads the Hatters in scoring and assists, scoring in double-digits on 17 occasions and putting up 20 three times in 19 appearances. 

Gayle put up 13/4/4 last time out against the Riders, shooting 6-12 from the field. Keeping her quiet for 40 minutes would go a long way towards slowing Sheffield’s side of the scoreboard down. 

The numbers

These two teams have been some of the highest-powered offences in the League this season, ranking second and third in points per game. 

The Hatters are one of two teams to score over 80 a night (82.7), and maximise their possessions by turning the ball over the least in the League. Meanwhile the Riders, who score 78.5 per game, are an efficient shooting group, connecting on a second-best 44% of their field goals. 

The Riders have the game’s highest scorer in American rookie Taylor O’Brien, whose 15.7 points per game has earned her two Player of the Month awards over the course of the season. 

Meanwhile the Hatters have seven scorers giving them over 7 points a night, their offence by committee giving the Riders issues last time the teams faced off.  


The Riders have faced the Hatters once before this season, falling 78-70 on the road. 

Desiree Ramos impressed with her highest-scoring performance on the season, putting up 25 points in 22 minutes, going 9-12 from the field. 

Turnovers were the difference in the game. Leicester lost the battle 25-11, and therefore lost a game in which they shot 43% from the field to Sheffield’s 36%. 

Riders’ All Star pairing of Sam Ashby and O’Brien combined for 36 (18 points each) to lead the team’s effort. 

But the loss means third place is up for grabs for the winner of this matchup. 

Tickets on sale

Tickets are on sale now for the Riders’ fixture against the Sheffield Hatters, and their playoff opener at the Mattioli Arena.

Playoff tickets include entry for both men’s and women’s playoff games on May 4, and the first 1,200 people through the door will receive a free “Dark Horse” playoff t-shirt.