Four Riders would finish in double figures (Elmore 21, Hayward 19, Winterburn 19, Paxton 14) as they would make it three straight wins in the WBBL Championship with victory over Essex, 75-98.
A back-and-forth first quarter saw the two sides exchange baskets throughout but it was the Essex Rebels who would lead after one thanks to the bench scoring of Jessy Ward and Grace Sinnott who would contribute over half of the home sides points in the opening ten minutes. The Rebels would hold a slim two-point lead after one with the tie there for the taking at 26-24.
And it was from then on, the Riders would come alive. The Rebels bench scoring almost came to a complete stop as they would add only four more points for the rest of the game. Essex’ over-reliance on their starters would be obvious to tell and it was Brea Elmore and Claire Paxton who would take advantage before the half.
US import, Elmore would finish the first half with 17 points whilst Paxton, coming off a double-double last week would finish the half a perfect 6-of-6, with 12 points.
And in the second half the Riders would continue just where they left off. Despite a game-high 30 points and 18 rebounds from the Rebels’ DeAngelique Waithe it wouldn’t be enough to compete with a balanced scoring offense from Leicester.
Dee Hayward would take a leading role in the third quarter to ensure Essex wouldn’t be allowed back into the contest as she would finish the quarter with a total of 16 points before adding three more in the fourth.
But it was Holly Winterburn, returning from a one-game absence who would catch fire and put the game beyond any doubt. Winterburn opened the fourth draining three consecutive threes and a layup to put the game out-of-sight. Essex Rebels 75 Leicester Riders 98
Coach, Jesper Sundberg complimented the teamwork of his side post-game, going on to say; “We did a good job pushing the pace of the game to turn the game in our favour. Offensively we shared the ball and had everyone contributing.”