Report: Riders secure big home win against Archers

The Riders took a dominant win against Cardiff Met Archers to improve to 7-2 in the Women’s British Basketball League Championship standings. 

It was an impressive win start-to-finish, as Leicester won the opening quarter 22-7 and never looked back. 

American forward Rayven Peeples set the tone in the paint, leading the game with an 18 point, 13 rebound double-double.

She was backed by Katie Januszewska, who had 12 points and 5 rebounds off the bench in 19 minutes. 

The Riders established the inside quickly, getting two offensive boards, a block and a finish at the rim in the opening minute. Peeples was instrumental in their physical approach, swatting Lara Habling’s shot and putting in a pair of layups within three minutes to make it a dominant 10-1 start. 

She finished the first with 6 points, 3 rebounds and 2 blocks, as the Riders got all five started on the board in the opening period. Despite shooting 0-8 from three, their dominance in the paint meant Leicester led 22-7 after Januszewska’s mid-range pull up to end it. 

Jessica Eadsforth-Yates knocked down the Riders’ first triple of the game to start the second quarter. She hit another with 5:41 left in the half to bring the team’s game tally to 30, and their lead to 22. 

With the lid off the basket from deep, Marissa Hamilton stepped into a triple to continue to pile on the points. On defence, Leicester locked off the interior, forcing the Archers to try their luck from three. They went 1-11 from range in the first half and 8-32 from the field. 

Emihear Morris joined the action from deep with a corner three to get the home bench off its feet. The Riders led 46-18 going into the break- a convincing first half of play. 

Peeples got the second half going with six quick points, as the Riders showed no let-up. She dominated the start to the third quarter with 8 points, 6 rebounds and a steal in five minutes of action. 

Januszewska caught fire in the middle of the quarter. She scored eight straight points, including two threes to stretch Leicester’s significant lead. Morris followed up with her second triple, and the Riders entered the final stanza up 65-29. 

Leicester started the fourth 6-2 to make it a 40-point advantage for the hosts. The quarter was led by 5 points from Eadsforth-Yates, as the Riders saw it home comfortably by winning the final quarter 21-11. 

The Riders are back in action tomorrow, hosting Durham Palatinates.

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Report: Riders beat Archers

The Riders improved to 3-0 to start the season, beating Cardiff Met Archers 110-64 on the road. 

It was a dominant performance throughout, as Leicester took a big lead early and never looked back. Taylor O’Brien’s explosive second half brought her scoring tally to 2 points and rebounds, leading the game. 

For the Archers, a second-quarter run marked their most competitive phase of the game, but they were ultimately outgunned by the Riders. They had four double-digit scorers in the game, led by , but shot just 32% from the field and 28% from three. 

The Riders, led by captain McKenzie Johnston’s 10 points in six minutes to start the game, stamped their authority on the tie from the jump. They started the game 7-12 to build a double-digit lead through their successes driving inside, going perfect from the hoop through the first. 

Cardiff found offensive form in the second, matching their first-quarter tally after five minutes. Laura Shanahan led the charge with 11 points to bring the hosts back into contention. 

Jessica Eadsforth-Yates hit back to snatch momentum with seven quick points. Her four-point play at the top of the arc was followed up by a corner three to rebuild the Riders’ lead in an instant. 

Leicester flexed their strength in depth with five players contributing seven points to the game by halftime, led by Johnston’s 12. Rayven Peeples made the most of her size advantage down low to close the second quarter with six points, the Riders leading 51-33 going into the locker rooms. 

Peeples finsihed with 19 points, shooting a dominant 9-11 from the field. 

The third, which has been the Riders’ quarter through the first two games of the season, saw the Riders extend their advantage. They continued their relentless attack at the rim, scoring 11 points from inside or the free-throw line with half a quarter gone. 

They entered the fourth up 31, led by O’Brien and Peeples with 15 each. 

O’Brien took the team to the finish line with 11 in the first four minutes of the final quarter to the game beyond doubt. The Riders played hard to the final buzzer, seeing it out professionally. 

The Riders return to action next Saturday, hosting Nottingham Wildcats on November 25. 

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Preview: Riders at Archers

Leicester plays their third game of the season and their second straight on the road, as they head to South Wales to take on the Cardiff Met Archers. 

Fixture information

Leicester Riders at Cardiff Met Archers

Archers Arena, Cyncoed Campus

Saturday, November 18, 3:15 pm

Riders rolling to start the year

The Riders resume their season after a two-week international break, following a perfect start to their Women’s British Basketball League season. 

They’re 2-0 through their opening games after wins against the Manchester Giants on opening night and an away victory against the Oaklands Wolves. 

Both wins came in a similar fashion, with Head Coach Ben Stanley’s halftime adjustments leading to third-quarter explosions, seeing Leicester blow out their first two opponents by over 20 points.  

Led by Rayven Peeples’ 6.5 offensive rebounds per game, the Riders’ presence on the glass opens up multiple second opportunities for the team, who are knocking down shots at a 45.5% rate.

Taylor O’Brien tops the scoring charts through two games with 18.5 a game, good for top five in the League. Should the Riders continue their scoring form following the break, they’ll be in good stead to improve to 3-0. 

Cardiff searching for opening win

Cardiff endured an up-and-down season last year, finishing with a 9-13 record to end the season seventh in the standings. 

The team’s leading scorer, Shannon Hatch, departed in the summer, opening the door for a new face to lead the club forward. 

Early on, it’s been American rookie Haylee Saurette leading the way with 15.5 points per game. 

In 2022-23, Saurette led Point Loma in scoring and rebounding, marking the third-straight season she averaged double-digit scoring and over seven rebounds per game during her collegiate career. 

Despite her efforts, the Archers started out 0-2 after facing the same two opponents as the Riders to begin the season. Managing only 55.5, they’ll have to find ways of upping their production to keep up with Leicester’s high-powered offence in this one. 

Key matchup

Off the back of her first international appearances for Great Britain, Sam Ashby returns to the squad in good form. 

Ashby impressed on her first outing and was entrusted with 20 minutes against Estonia on the road in the second of the two games. She went perfect from the field, hitting a three and making all four of her free throw attempts to put up eight points, eight rebounds and a steal on the game. 

For the Riders, she’s putting up 14 points from 21 minutes per outing, shooting 52.4% from the field and 42.9% from three. Last time out against the Wolves, the Australian-born guard went off for 18 points and six rebounds, making an impact on the glass. 

Facing up against Ashby in the backcourt will be Former Hawai‘i Hilo star guard Mandi Kawaha. Kawaha became the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo all-time leading scorer and assists leader, and also holds the single-game scoring record with 36 points. 

Last time out against the Manchester Giants, she scored 17 points to lead her team in her second outing for the club. She shot 40% from three in her final college season, so Ashby and the rest of the team will need to pay close attention to the Hawaiian native in this one. 

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