It was another big weekend for the Leicester Riders Women beating Manchester on the road and then returning home to take victory over Durham in the WBBL.
They entered the weekend unbeaten in six and exited it unbeaten in eight after wins over the Manchester Mystics and Durham Palatinates.
It was all going in Manchester’s favour as they held a five-point lead at the end of the first. And midway through the second it was much of the same with the Mystics building up an 11-point lead. The Riders would go on a seven-point run towards the end of the half with Kate Oliver adding five of them but Leicester headed in at the break with a six-point deficit to overcome.
The game was then turned on its head in the second-half as the Mystics were outscored 36-10 in the third period alone, going from up by six to down by 20!
After a back-and-forth start to the second half, with Brea Elmore adding five points either side of consecutive Manchester threes, the Riders went on a 17-0 scoring run to take a commanding lead.
But they weren’t finished there as after Jorja Smith scored a single basket for the Mystics, the Riders went on another run, this time of 14-0. Over the course of seven minutes, Manchester would be outscored 31-2.
With the Riders leading by 20 to start the final period it was more about sustaining the lead than extending it as Manchester were handed only their second loss of the league season.
There were standout performances all around for the Riders but an 18-point, 15-rebound double-double for Kate Oliver and a 14-point, 11-rebound, 11-assist triple-double from Holly Winterburn were impossible not to recognise in the comeback win, Mystics 72 Riders 93.
And Kate Oliver would prove integral once again on Sunday as she dropped 29 points on the Durham Palatinates to push the Riders to 7-1 for the season.
Oliver was too much for Durham to handle in the first quarter as she went a perfect 6/6 from the field to give the home side a nine-point advantage heading into the second.
The second period though was much closer as the two sides exchanged baskets throughout with Kate Oliver adding the Riders last six points of the half to keep her great weekend rolling, and give the Palatinates a 10-point difference to overcome.
Despite the efforts of Durham Captain, Monika Bosilj, who finished with a game-high 33-points, the third quarter would once again fall in the favour of the Riders.
Leicester were able to extend their lead to 15 by the end of the third giving Durham a hill to climb with ten minutes left to go. And like Manchester the day before, it wasn’t about extending the lead but sustaining it.
The Riders were only able to score ten points in the final period but despite their lowest scoring quarter of the game, they were also able to keep Durham to theirs as well. With Durham able to score just 18 more points themselves, they could only cut the game to single figures, the Riders coming out with the win once again.