THE PENRITH Panthers broke their losing streak in the NBL1 East Women’s competition over the weekend, rallying behind a strong Meg Jefferson showing to defeat the Hornsby Ku-Ring-Gai Spiders.
The Panthers came into the match on a two-game losing streak, struggling to get any sort of momentum going on a weekly basis. However, the Spiders have been facing hurdles of their own, still searching for their first win of the season prior to the clash at Penrith Valley Regional Sports Centre on Saturday evening.
Things were hard fought in the first half, with Hornsby Ku-Ring-Gai matching it with the opposition. It was one of the most impressive patches of play the side has delivered over the first eight rounds. However, the Panthers took control of the contest in the final two quarters, finally getting going to close out the match in powerful fashion on their way to a 20-point win.
Jefferson was the commanding presence of the match, showcasing her vast range of talents on both ends of the court and playing a key role in her side’s win.
Penrith Panthers (85) def. Hornsby Ku-Ring-Gai Spiders (65)
Meg Jefferson – 33 points, 17 rebounds, one assist, one steal, two blocks
Jefferson was a force during Penrith’s win, particularly in the second half where the Panthers snatched all of the momentum.
She was the game’s leading scorer, going to work inside the paint on her way to a match-high 33 points, doing most of her damage inside the arc. Jefferson was far and away the number one option for the Panthers, with the team looking to move the ball around the perimeter before feeding the ball inside the three-point line to her one out with her opponent.
From the field, Jefferson shot 45 per cent, nailing 13 shots on 31 attempts, with 29 of those coming from two-point range. She was left open from downtown on a couple of occasions, where she was able to splash home one of those three-pointers.
The forward was also the game’s best rebounder, pulling down a whopping 17 boards in a telling performance. She controlled the skies on both ends, with eight of these coming on the offensive end. Jefferson showed no hesitation in putting the ball straight back up after pulling down an offensive rebound, which helped to keep her points total ticking over.
It was another strong showing from Jefferson, who is averaging just shy of 20 points and eight rebounds per game. She has been a bit of a barometer for the Panthers this season, and helped lead them to a third win for their 2023 campaign.