The Riders made it back-to-back wins in a weekend of action, beating the Durham Palatinates 85-57 to improve their record to 8-2.
Sam Ashby dominated wire-to-wire, the GB guard logging a game-high 21 points and 6 rebounds after hitting the ground running with 12 in the first. Rayven Peeples scored 14 to back up her teammate, grabbing 13 rebounds for her second double-double of the weekend.
Leicester shot well from deep in the game, hitting 40% of their threes to blow the game open. On the defensive end, they held Durham to 2-18 shooting from behind the arc in a dominant defensive outing.
Their standout was Elle Hendershot, who matched Ashby’s 21 points in her team’s effort. But the Palatinates struggled to match the Riders’ play on both ends throughout, and the hosts secured their second big win in as many days.
Ashby’s defence made a huge impact in the opening stages of the game. She blocked Harriet Ottewill-Soulsby inside to force a 24-second violation and took a charge on Hendershot for two score-saving plays. On the other end, scored five quick points as the Riders charged out the gate for a 10-4 start.
Durham established the interior to come back into it, led by Hendershot’s 7 points in the first quarter. But Ashby hit back with seven more points to rebuild Leicester’s lead to eight, finishing the first quarter at the free-throw line to make the score 22-14.
Hot deep shooting meant the Riders maintained their lead in the second, as Marissa Hamilton and Katie Janszewska both hit triples. Taylor O’Brien followed up with seven straight points, and the Riders built their advantage to 39-22.
The Riders shot 57% from three at the half, while the Palatinates missed each of their seven attempts. That made it 44-29 to the hosts by the break.
A 6-2 start to the second half made it 50-31 within two minutes. Ashby built on her game tally with seven more points, including a three to put Leicester up 20. Peeples got to work inside with aggressive play around the rim. She scored 7 points in six minutes, capped off by an and-one play.
To end the third, Katie Januszewska found the bottom of the basket on back-to-back plays to bring her game total to double digits. Leicester won the third 25-15 to make the score 69-44 with one to play.
Elise Tweeide scored two straight baskets at the rim to get the Riders going in the final quarter of play. Leicester continued to be effective in their runs to the rim, seeing the game out by adding to their side of the scoreboard.
They finished the game with a 16-13 fourth quarter, meaning they won every quarter of their two-game weekend.
The Riders are back in action on Febuary 17, heading to the North East to take on the Newcastle Eagles.