Leicester Riders 74 – 72 Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters (20-19, 36-41, 57-62)
Leicester Riders won a crucial game as the top two in the WBBL Championship break away from the pack, after edging out Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters 74-72.
The second-placed Riders have now made it six league wins in a row, moving to 9-1, and have beaten the Hatters in the last three meetings. Third-placed Sheffield, meanwhile, slip to 8-3.
Leading scorers – Hayward 20, Smith 13, Oliver 12 (Riders); Gandy 19, Naylor 17, Ashton 14 (Hatters)
Turning point – Trailing at home heading into the fourth quarter, Riders opened it with a game-winning 15-4 surge as Alex Smith and Holly Winterburn capped the spell with three-pointers to make the score 72-66. It wasn’t done there, as Riders had to finish strong defensively and contest a potential game-winning triple from Helen Naylor.
Key stat – Leicester’s bigs were crucial on the offensive end as they pulled in a huge 17 offensive rebounds, scoring 18 second chance points. Kate Oliver had six offensive rebounds, with Jamila Thompson and Dee Hayward snatching three each.
Game hero(es) – Dee Hayward led the Riders with 20 points, eight rebounds and five assists; while Kate Oliver posted a big double-double of 12 points and 14 rebounds.