With the result never really in doubt, Peoria *built on two victories a season ago against Richwoods, winning a non-conference matchup with the Lions on Friday: 59-41.
Denali Craig-Edwards demonstrated the smoothness of her game, hitting from beyond the 3-point line, operating well in transition, all while staying pesky on then defensive end. Her 20 points, combined with Aaliyah Guyton’s 15, helped lead Peoria (2-0) to a relatively comfortable victory.
The Big 12 Conference foes faced off in a non-conference matchup that won’t go toward league standings. A season ago, the Knights grabbed victories of 46-33 and 61-55. Richwoods (0-1) did not return a starter from its 2019-20 season, though former Knights starter Paris Wilson did return to her home court, starting for the Lions Friday.
*Credit to Clutch Sports Media for lots of clutch info in its live broadcast*
Guyton, a highly-touted freshman already with an offer from Vanderbilt, nearly matched the 17 she scored in the opener, scoring 12 of her 15 in the second half. The Lions pushed the pace — even late with reserve players in the game.
Saniya Tutt continued to do good things in the third, working in tandem with the likes of Craig-Edwards and the quickly-emerging Guyton to extend the Lions’ lead to 41-23.
Guyton, showed off some of her quickness and ball-handling, penetrating into the heart of Richwoods’ zone and creating opportunities for teammates — including Craig-Edwards, who finished at half with 11 points as Peoria led 24-15 at the break.
After the Knights hit a bucket from the floor just over two minutes into the game, the Lions’ defense held them without a field goal 7-plus minutes, until around the 6:30 mark of the second quarter when Faith Howard dropped in a layup.
Kamryn Heider had 6 points at the half for the Knights.
Craig-Edwards hit the first of her several 3-pointers in the first quarter as Peoria played to a 10-2 lead. It was a sloppy start that featured plenty of layups as Richwood’s relatively inexperienced team (no returning starters) struggled to find the bottom of the bucket or mount productive possessions.
*Correction: Article corrected to reflect that Peoria won both games against Richwoods last season.