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Guard Play to Power Women's Basketball

The 2005-06 Frostburg State women's basketball team will have a few hurdles to climb in defense of their 2004-05 Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference Championship and NCAA Division III Tournament appearance. The Bobcats lose four post players that combined to score 34.2 points per game and average 21.9 rebounds per contest.

This season, the Bobcats return three starters from the guard position that will carry the team through the season.

Senior Stephanie Watts (Baltimore, Md./North County) is the team leader on and off the floor. She can play any position and provides a positive example for the rest of the team. Last season, she ranked 19th in NCAA Division III with 3.6 steals per game and was third in the conference with 101 total steals. She also ranked second on the team with 32 blocks and third with 133 rebounds including 108 on the defensive end.

Junior Tracie George (Windber, Pa./Windber) can play both the point and shooting guard with her excellent touch from three-point range. She finished first on the team with 47 three pointers and 116 assists while finishing second with a .353 three-point shooting percentage. She also finished second on the Bobcats in scoring with 10.9 points per game average. She scored a season-high 24 points in the AMCC Championship game against Pitt-Greensburg.

Junior Krystin Hargrove (Silver Spring, Md./Springbrook), who is known for her quickness and good defense, finished tied for second on the team with 56 steals. She was third in both PPG (nine) and assists (60).

FSU also has four other guards, including three returners, who should see significant playing time; seniors Joanie Herget (Glen Burnie, Md./Old Mill) and Melanie Herget (Glen Burnie, Md./Old Mill) and sophomores Amanda Hernandez (Crofton, Md./Arundel) and Teara Williams (Baltimore, Md./Dunbar).

Joanie Herget is a great shooter from the three guard position while her hard work pushes her teammates to succeed. She played in 17 games last season grabbing 14 rebounds with seven assists and seven blocks.

Melanie Herget is a two-guard with outstanding work ethic. Her, "do whatever it takes attitude", forces players to step up their attitude. She averaged 3.1 points per game including a season-high 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting in an FSU win over Lake Erie.

Hernandez is a deadly left-handed shooter who also plays volleyball for the Bobcats. She is not only a leader on the volleyball court, but the basketball court as well. Last season, she led FSU with a .382 three-point shooting percentage and ranked second on the unit with 21 three pointers. In 24 games, she averaged 6.2 PPG, pulled down 53 rebounds and handed out 24 assists.

Williams, who was injured last season, played in 17 games in 2003-04 as a freshman. She had 22 assists, 19 rebounds and 14 steals.

Frostburg State has four post players this season, returning just two with experience after losing four from last years roster. The Bobcats lost All-American Tracey Little along with Kelly True, Ashley Mello and Charlena Reeves.

This season for FSU, senior Kenya Broadnax (Jessup, Md./Howard) and sophomore Amanda LaPorta (Westminster, Md./Westminster) played in 20 games each a year ago.

Broadnax will be looked upon to rebound and provide experience to young post players. She had 36 rebounds and seven blocks last season.

LaPorta has a solid midrange jumper and should see plenty of playing time. She averaged just over two points a game last season adding 16 rebounds and six steals.

Freshman Brittney Thornton (Glen Burnie, Md./Glen Burnie) and Caryn Wright (Baltimore, Md./Western Tech) should see plenty of action in the post this year.

Thornton will be a solid presence in the middle and will improve with playing time, while Wright is a two sport athlete (volleyball and basketball) who will be looked upon for rebounding and scoring in the paint.

Having won the AMCC Championship and capturing the league's first-ever automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, Frostburg State is once again faced with a tough out-of-conference schedule that should prepare them for another run at the title.

"We can't take anything lightly because after winning the conference and going to the NCAA Tournament, we have a target on our backs," says Head Coach Jody Pepple. "Sometimes defending the crown is harder than winning the crown."

Among the tough non-conference games for the Bobcats are Misericordia, Rutgers-Camden and Lincoln in the opening tournament of the year at the Fourth Annual Jim Crawley Classic. FSU will later face top-25 Mary Washington and potentially national power Scranton at its tournament in mid-December.

Frostburg State opens conference play in early December when it hosts Penn State Behrend and Pitt-Bradford.

"We have our work cut out for us early on in the season. Even opening conference play is tough because of the past successes of Penn State Behrend and Pitt-Bradford," added Pepple.

For further information on this release, contact:

Office of Sports Information
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD  21532-2303

Telephone: 301-687-4371
Fax: 301-687-4780