Magnificent Munger sets enormous season-high
THE Newcastle Falcons claimed a massive win over the Inner West Bulls in the National Basketball League (NBL)1 East Women’s last weekend, and it was set up by an absolutely mesmerising performance from one of their guns, who stole the show with a blistering offensive performance.
The Falcons ended up emerging 61-point victors, a result that was flagged early in the match as they stormed out to a massive 30-point scoreboard advantage in the opening term. From there, the Falcons continued to extend the already massive lead further as the match went on, leaving fans at ELS Hall Park stunned on Saturday night.
The biggest story to come out of the match was the individual showing from Newcastle’s Nicole Munger, who absolutely dominated the match for all four quarters.
She was an unstoppable force with ball in hand, scoring the most of any player in the 2022 season in a single game with a whopping 53 points. The Bulls defenders gave it their all to slow her down as the match went on and her scoring total lifted, but it was all in vain as Munger tormented the opposition with the most outstanding individual showing we have seen this year.
Nicole Munger vs. Bulls – 53 points (20/25 FG), seven rebounds, five assists, six steals
Munger could seemingly do no wrong whenever she got the ball, conjuring a basket more often than not and helping boost her side to a huge score. Inside the three-point line, there were not many errors as 14 of her 16 attempts from two-point territory found the bottom of the net. Scores came from a variety of sources, whether it was cutting inside for a lay-up or breaking free off the dribble and nailing the mid-range.
While the majority of her baskets came from inside the arc, Munger also chimed in with an impressive six three’s from just nine attempts. Her shooting stroke was looking as clean as ever, and no matter how much pressure the defence put on her, Munger could almost always find space and rise over the contest to drain another shot.
To make it all the more impressive, she was not just a one-trick pony and was able to help the team in other ways such as rebounding and assisting. Munger pulled down seven boards, three of which were on the offensive end, and often ended up in a put-back finding the bottom of the net. Whenever the Bulls’ defence completely collapsed on her, Munger used her smarts to find wide-open teammates and finished the game on five dimes.
To top it all off, she remained active on the defensive end (despite probably having every right to focus all her energy on scoring the ball) and interrupted a number of opposition possessions. An equal game-high six steals demonstrated her ability to read the play and create yet another possession for the Falcons.
It was the most memorable individual showing we have seen in the league this season, and while she may get a bit more defensive attention moving forward, could set up a big finish to the fixture for not only Munger, but the Falcons as a team.