THE NBL1 East Women competition was back on the weekend for a sixth round of action for the 2023 season, and it included a big win from the Newcastle Falcons as they took on the Hills Hornets.
The clash took place at Newcastle Basketball Stadium on Sunday afternoon in one of the final matches of the weekend, with the two sides in different form to start the season. The Falcons have been one of the stronger teams over the first six weeks, while the Hornets have been struggling to put together any momentum.
Although Hills was competitive in the first half of play with some strong offensive work, Newcastle broke away in the final two quarters to cruise home to a 74-51 triumph in comfortable fashion. The Hornets were held to just 17 points in the second half as the Falcons clamped up on the defensive end.
One of the biggest factors in Newcastle’s dominance was the performance of Nicole Munger, who continues to be a force to be reckoned with at NBL level with yet another exceptional showing for the Falcons.
Newcastle Falcons (74) def. Hills Hornets (51)
Nicole Munger – 26 points, 20 rebounds, four assists, two steals
Munger was a machine for the Falcons in the win, putting her fingerprints all over the match with a powerful display of scoring and rebounding, the combination of which has proven to be the hallmark of her game in recent seasons.
Her 26 points was a game-high total by a margin of nine points, proving to be the most impactful offensive player on the court. She nailed 10 of her 20 shots from the field in an accurate enough display of shooting. Most of these came near the paint, but Munger showed she has the range to nail shots from behind the arc too, splashing a three-pointer.
The defence tried to surround her with numbers and keep the ball out of her hands, but to no avail as Munger consistently put herself in scoring positions and made life difficult for the Hornets defence.
The most eye-catching part of her performance came on the glass, as Munger controlled the skies in a masterful display. Her 20 rebounds were immense in getting the Falcons on top in the second half. Considering the Hornets only pulled down 39 rebounds as a whole, Munger’s showing on the glass seems even more impressive.
It was another powerful showing to add to Munger’s already extensive collection of memorable individual performances, as she led Newcastle to victory once again.