Women's Basketball

Hudson Valley Downs FMCC, 50-46, To Advance To Nationals

CONTACT: Jeff Foley (518) 629-8085 or (518) 210-4161

FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Sunday, March 3, 2002

Utica, N.Y.., March 3 - The Lady Vikings are going to the big dance!

An offensive rebound and a pair of clutch free throws by second-year center Meghan Squires made it possible, and a game-ending steal by All-American Lindsey Bradt secured a trip to Corning, N.Y., for the Division III junior college national championship tournament.

Hudson Valley's women's basketball team came out on top in Sunday's NJCAA Division III Region III championship game. Playing at Mohawk Valley Community College, the Lady Vikings, the tournament's No. 2 seed, defeated No. 1 seeded Fulton-Montgomery Community College, 50-46.

Hudson Valley is 26-4 overall. Fulton-Montgomery finished the season with a 30-3 record.

After the game, Bradt, the MVP of this year's tournament, led her entire squad onto the floor to accept the Region III championship plaque.

"We win as a team, we lose as a team," said Bradt, an Albany native who had 19 points and nine rebounds. "There was no way just one of us was going up to get that plaque. We're a team."

The Lady Vikings needed every last bit of that "one-for-all-and-all-for- one" attitude to get past Fulton-Montgomery, the No. 3 Division III junior college team in the nation. Hudson Valley, ranked fifth in the country, trailed by a point with less than two minutes remaining in the game.

With 1:53 left, Bradt hit a pair of free throws to give the Lady Vikings a 47-46 lead. Hudson Valley's tenacious defense then kept Fulton-Montgomery at bay; with 20 seconds left, Fulton-Montgomery had a two-on-one fastbreak, but Squires broke it up with a well-timed kick of the ball. Fulton- Montgomery then turned the ball over on a travel.

"We've won games with our defense all year," Bradt said. "We all play our hearts out every time we step on the floor. I love these kids."

After Hudson Valley inbounded the ball, Fulton-Montgomery immediately fouled Bradt. With 10 seconds showing on the clock and Hudson Valley clinging to a one-point lead, and dreams of an extended postseason, Bradt sank the first of two free throws to stretch Hudson Valley's lead to 48-46.

Her second shot rolled around the rim and popped out, but Squires was there to grab the offensive rebound. Fulton-Montgomery tackled her, and Squires, a Hoosic Valley graduate, went to the free throw line with seven seconds left.

She had two shots, and one chance to put the game out of reach.

"I was just thinking, I've got to do it. We've got to win the game right here,'" said Squires, who finished with 12 points.

Neither free throw attempt hit anything but net. The Lady Vikings led, 50- 46.

It was appropriate that Bradt, the two-time Region III Player of the Year, came up with a steal as Fulton-Montgomery tried to advance the ball for a desperation shot. She clutched the basketball and fell to the court, running out the clock and sending the Lady Vikings to their first national championship tournament appearance since 1993, when they won the national title.

"Region III champs and we're going to the national tournament?" Bradt said. "This is the greatest moment of my life."

Hudson Valley's Tonya DeLaMater contributed 10 points. Point guard Meg Davis had seven points, five rebounds, six assists and a pair of steals.

Bradt and Squires were each named to the All-Tournament First Team. Davis was named to the Second Team, as was Hudson Valley's backup point guard, Jill Valachovic.

Hudson Valley will next travel to Corning for the NJCAA Division III national championship tournament, which takes place March 14 through March 16.


Hudson Valley: Lindsey Bradt 5-9-19, Meghan Squires 4-4-12, Tonya DeLaMater 5-0-10, Davis 3-1-7, Valachovic 1-0-2, von Wergers 0-0-0, Keeler 0-0-0, Totals 18-14-50.

Fulton-Montgomery: Sherry George 9-2-21, Carmen Walker 4-4-13, Phillips 2-1- 5, Scott 1-1-3, Bacham 1-0-2, Vrooman 1-0-2, Wamala 0-0-0, Witherspoon 0-0- 0, Totals 18-8-46.

Halftime: Hudson Valley 23-30

3-point goals: Hudson Valley: none. Fulton-Montgomery: 2 (George 1, Walker 1).