Mansfield Giants’ women chalked up their third victory over Leicester Riders II this season with a crushing 91-14 home success on Saturday.
Mansfield had already beaten Riders in the Trophy and in the League. However, with both Franky Harper and Jade Clemenson unavailable and Chloe Gaynor still recovering from an injury picked up in the Loughborough game last weekend, Giants went into the game knowing they couldn’t afford to be complacent.
Mansfield coach Jo Richards said: “We knew going into it that it wasn’t going to be a hugely challenging game.
“But we have a very tough game against Sefton next week and had some clear goals we wanted to achieve today in preparation.
“The girls did a great job of staying motivated throughout and it just shows the strength in depth we have with different players stepping up to score in every game, which makes it very difficult for other teams to shut us down offensively.”
Right from the outset, the Giants hit the floor with the intention of playing solid team defence and limiting Riders’ scoring threats.
The team worked the ball well on offence, finding Sarah Taylor to convert consecutive baskets and taking clear control of the game.
Charlotte Levitt found space inside, causing problems for the defence with Gaynor also adding points to the board.
The Giants side took advantage of their deep bench, bringing Megan Geoghegan into the game to sink a three on her first touch of the ball as they ended the quarter 24-3 to the good.
The second quarter saw more of the same as Asimina Stamatiou stepped in to up the intensity on defence.
But it was Katy Taylor that took the limelight, sinking two of her five three-pointers of the game, extending the lead further as the Giants continued to dominate the game, finishing the half 43-7 up.
The Giants’ half-time talk clearly centred around staying motivated, and with Gaynor sitting the rest of the game out and Taylor sustaining a blow to the eye, the team knew they would need to step up and fill the gap offensively.
So it was the turn of point guard Steph Jones and Jo Richards, combining to score the first eight points in the quarter, once again showing the Giants’ strength from the bench as they continued to attack the Leicester zone.
Katy Taylor continued to pour in the points, adding to her game-high 21 points, while captain Alison Bridge added her own points to the tally while finding her team mates with some outstanding assists.
The team clearly had no intention of easing up, allowing Riders to score just two points in the quarter as they continued to use every player on court to attack the basket.
Moving into the final quarter, Mansfield switched up their defence, which gave the Riders team a chance to steal a couple of baskets back.
However, it also proved to work in their favour, forcing Riders into a number of turnovers which the Giants capitalised on, piling in a huge 27 points in the final quarter alone.
Giants’ top scorers: K. Taylor 21, Levitt 16, Richards 15, Jones 14, Geoghegan 9, S. Taylor 8, Bridge 4, Gaynor 4.