Leicester Riders Women2317341690Win
Newcastle Eagles Women1914172575Loss

On the face of it this was another disappointing defeat for the Seriös Group Newcastle Eagles. However, there were lots of positives to take from the final performance and lots of lessons to learn.

Perhaps the biggest lessons are that when they are concentrated and determined this Eagles side can play with the best of them but if they drop their guard for any length of time they will get punished.

Eagles Women were 24 points behind by the start of the 4th quarter. (Photos: Abbie Orwin)

Through the first two quarters and by half-time Riders had taken the first two quarters but only led 40 – 33 with Newcastle well in the game. The third was when Leicester came out hard and for ten minutes dominated. That ten-minute stretch proving crucial. 

Even then facing a 24-point deficit going into the final quarter the Eagles showed resilience and character. They kept going to the final buzzer taking the fourth period by 9 points to make the final margin of defeat look a lot more respectable.

But Matt Newby will more than likely not see it that way and no doubt whilst reviewing the whole game for pluses and minuses will have his own focus on that third quarter and what went wrong in that stretch.

This was a game where his side were down by 25 points at one stage in the third period and only led the game once on Tierra Hodges opening basket of the game in the first quarter.

Leicester Riders outclassed our Eagles Women despite a determined performance. (Photos: Nathan Green)

Statistically it was the shooting percentages that made the difference. The Eagles over the 40 minutes actually having more scoring opportunities with 81 shots taken against 62. But Leicester’s efficiency and accuracy was so much better than Newcastle’s.

Overall, they shot at 50% made up of 52% from 2-point range and an impressive 45% 3-point land. Contrast that with an overall 30% from Newcastle made up of 38% from 2-point range and only 15% from beyond the arc. These stats tell the story!

Especially given that Newcastle took 22 offensive rebounds but only 20 defensively whilst Leicester’s 48 was made up of only 11 offensive and 37 defensive backing up the shooting stats.

Elsewhere the Eagles more than held their own. Only 8 turnovers in the game and 12 steals will no doubt please Newby particularly as they forced 18 turnovers from Riders. In the end though it’s about execution and Leicester’s was clearly the more efficient.

For Newcastle Hodges continues to light up the League with her scoring ability netting 23 points and tagging on 6 rebounds. The Eagles also had another four players in double figure scoring, two of which produced double-doubles.

Tierra Hodges ended the game with 23 points. (Photos: Abbie Orwin)

Jada Dapaa having 14 points and 12 rebounds with 4 steals and Lauren Saiki adding 11 assists to her 10 personal points. Abby Lowe with 12 points and Katie Nolan with 10 points and rebounds were the others scoring in double figures.

For Leicester Taylor O’Brien was in scintillating form netting 29 massive points with 11 rebounds and 4 assists. Marissa Hamilton’s 15 points were 5 from 5 from 3-point range and Sam Ashby also contributed 3 triples in her 15 points.

Rayven Peeples just missed out on a double-double although her performance was still impressive with 15 rebounds added onto her 9 points.

Newby and his players will analyse and digest the game and return to the practice court this week to prepare for the League visit of Nottingham Wildcats. A side they recently defeated 82 – 66 on the road.

They’ll be looking to bounce back to winning ways in a game that takes place at the Vertu Motors Arena on Saturday 2nd March with a 7:30pm tip-off. Tickets can be found at the Box Office.