Women's Basketball

Von Wergers Shines In Loss

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

FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Friday, March 15, 2002

March 15, Corning, N.Y. – Despite Angela von Werger's unexpected but much- needed all-around effort, Hudson Valley Community College's women's basketball team lost its NJCAA Division III consolation contest Friday afternoon, falling to Minnesota's Ridgewater College, 64-59. The national championship tournament loss, Hudson Valley's second in two days, was not all bad news, however.

In von Wergers, a 5-foot-8 first-year backup from Bishop Gibbons, the Lady Vikings may have found a future star.

"Angela played huge the whole game," said starting center Meghan Squires, who was limited to eight points because of foul trouble. She did pull down 15 rebounds, though. "When we were in foul trouble, she stepped up big time."

The Lady Vikings battled foul difficulties for the duration of Friday's contest. With 6:39 remaining in the first half, Hudson Valley's three big guns – Squires, All-American Lindsey Bradt and point guard Megan Davis, the squad's only second-year players – were on the bench.

Davis was hurt, and would return, but Squires and Bradt, who have accounted for a combined 32 points per game this season, each had three fouls.

With von Wergers, Jill Valachovic and Amy Trowbridge filling in for much of the remainder of the half, Hudson Valley trailed Ridgewater by just three points, 32-29, at the end of the first 20 minutes.

On the game, Hudson Valley dominated the battle of the benches, outscoring Ridgewater's subs, 18-0.

Von Wergers, a forward/center, was clearly Hudson Valley's bright light. She finished with 17 points on 8-of-12 shooting, and she had eight rebounds, including five offensive boards.

"I was confident I could play that way," said von Wergers, who came in to the national championship tourney averaging just five points and five rebounds per game. "The second-year players aren't going to be here next year, and we need to start preparing for next season."

Hudson Valley trailed by eight points, 51-43, with 10 minutes left in the game, but von Wergers helped the Lady Vikings claw back. She hit three straight baskets, including a smooth 12-foot jumper, to cut Ridgewater's lead to two points.

Squires then kissed a breakaway basket off the glass to tie the game at 51- 51 with 6:54 left.

Hudson Valley and Ridgewater traded baskets for the next 4:30 – the game was tied at 57-57 with 1:47 showing on the clock – but Ridgewater hit a key field goal and five free throws down the stretch to escape with the win.

Bradt contributed 11 points and five rebounds in 25 minutes. Carolyn Keeler, of Cohoes, had nine points and six rebounds.

Hudson Valley (26-6) will play again at 1 p.m. on Saturday, taking on Manchester Community College of Connecticut (14-11) for seventh place in the national championship tournament. Ridgewater (17-12) will play New Jersey's Suffolk County Community College (22-1) at 3 p.m. Saturday for fourth place.

"We have to pull it together for our next game," von Wergers said. "We didn't come all this way for nothing. We have to get a win."