Bridgers' Career Night Sparks Alvernia

More news about: Alvernia
Box Score

Chester, Pa. (Nov. 30, 2011) - All else being equal Alvernia just hit more free throws.

Alvernia University (2-2, 1-0) and Widener University (4-2, 0-1) had nearly identical shooting nights from the floor, both going 25-for-59 and hitting six 3s, but the Crusaders hit 15-of-24 attempts from the free throw line compared to Widener's 10-13 in a 71-66 win Wednesday evening in the Commonwealth Conference Men's Basketball opener for both teams at Widener.

"The stats kinda speak for themselves," admitted Alvernia head coach Mike Miller after the win.  "The thing I'm most proud about is that we fell behind and we never quit.  No matter who was in there we battled."

The Pride held a commanding 26-13 lead with under seven to go in the first half before Alvernia freshman Terrance Bridgers (Drexel Hill, Pa./Upper Darby) took over.  The 6-5 forward went 6-for-6 from the floor over the last 6:20 of the opening half including a 3 and a pair of dunks as the Crusaders closed the half on a 22-6 run to take a three point lead at the break, 35-32.

By halftime Bridgers had already doubled his career total and was well on his way to establishing a career mark at 23 points by game's end.

"I'm not surprised," said Miller of the effort from Bridgers in the first half.  "Not in this type of game.  We knew it was going to be up and down, but you still gotta be able to guard and rebound.  They were averaging 90 coming into this game and we held them to 66.  Obviously it still comes down to defense."

Alvernia continued the run after the break pushing the lead up to 11 points, 47-36 on Bridgers' second 3 of the night, but the Pride answered with eight straight to cut the gap to three.

Widener cut the gap to just two on four occasions in the final five minutes of play, but the Crusaders responded every time.  Senior Stefan Thompson (Philadelphia, Pa./G.A.M.P.) hit a 3 and assisted on a Brian Nerney (Middletown, N.J./Red Bank Catholic) layup to build the Alvernia lead back to seven points, 66-59 at the 1:46 mark.

After Nerney's free throw with 1:03 to go made the gap eight, the Crusaders did what they could to open the door for the Pride missing each of their next four from the stripe.  Bridgers was in jeopardy of scarring the career night when he missed both at the line with 30 seconds to go.  Widener followed with a Perry Wright 3 to cut the gap to 69-66, but Thompson and freshman Lamont Clark (Parkesburg, Pa./Octorara) both hit 1-of-2 free throws for the final margin.

"Lamont got every big loose ball for us," said Miller of Clark.  "And he was going against very good guards."

Chris Davis (Norristown, Pa./Norristown) scored 14 for the Crusaders and Brian Parker (Chichester, Pa./Chichester) added 10.  Wright and Jack Brennan led Widener with a dozen and Brian Smith scored 10 off the bench for the Pride.

"We stole one on the road," finished Miller with more than a twinge of relief in his voice.  "That's all we did.  We stole one on the road."

Alvernia returns home after the first four games on the road to open the home schedule hosting Lycoming on Saturday in the second game of a women's and men's doubleheader.

Alvernia 71, Widener 66