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Bergman Tabbed NESCAC Player of the Week
February 5, 2001

Sarah Bergman '04
First-year forward Sarah Bergman
poured in a career-high
23 points against Trinity
AMHERST, Mass. - First-year Amherst College forward Sarah Bergman (Shaftsbury, VT) was named the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Player of the Week on Monday after leading the Jeffs to a pair of wins over New England and Trinity Colleges last weekend.

In Friday night's non-conference game against New England, the 6'2" power forward couldn't miss from the field, connecting on nine of her 11 field-goal attempts-including all four tries in the second half-to lead the Jeffs to a 22-point win over the Pilgrims. With Amherst's reserves seeing extensive playing time, Bergman did her damage in only 22 minutes of play, finishing with 20 points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots in the 66-44 final.

Saturday afternoon against NESCAC-foe Trinity, the first-year picked up right where she left off Friday night, providing 15 of the Jeffs' 31 first-half points on 6-9 shooting. After halftime, Bergman and junior Co-captain Hallison Putnam (Lexington, KY) combined to break open what had been a three-point game at the half, with Putnam draining a three-pointer and Bergman adding four straight points to cap an 11-2 run. The spurt gave Amherst an 11-point lead with 6:07 left, and solid Amherst foul shooting down the stretch kept the Bantams from cutting into the margin, eventually falling by a 74-58 final.

On the afternoon, Bergman finished with a career-high 23 points-her fourth game this season with 20 or more points-and a game-high 12 rebounds, adding three blocked shots to the all-around performance. Putnam finished with a career-high 17 points, as the Jeffs won for the 10th time in their last 11 games.

"Sarah made a conscious decision to come to Amherst out of high school and we're fortunate to have her," said Amherst Head Coach Billy McBride. "She has a ton of potential and her game is further along than many people expected. Sarah really shows up and plays big in crucial games."

For the year, Bergman, whose 11.0 points per game is second on the team to fellow first-year Shannon Russell (Shrewsbury, MA), is fourth in the NESCAC in rebounds, averaging 8.8 boards per contest, and second in the league in blocked shots, posting just under two rejections per outing. Bergman's frontcourt-mate, Jeff sophomore Sarah Walker (W. Hartford, CT), leads the 10-team league in both rebounds per game (11.6) and blocked shots (2.3), and backup center Caitlin Farrell (Lafayette, CA) is right behind the pair in blocks, averaging 1.8 stuffs per game, third in the conference. Sophomore Amherst point guard Sara Bozorg (Amherst, MA) is also on the NESCAC leaderboard, averaging a league-best 6.4 assists per contest, the third highest total in Division III.

The Jeffs, who improved to 17-3 (4-1 in the NESCAC) with the weekend sweep, are off until Friday, when they travel to Little III foe Wesleyan University, who fell to the Jeffs, 62-59, in Amherst on January 16. Thanks to Wesleyan's 75-65 win at Williams College last Friday, Amherst can lock up their second-straight outright Little III title with a win, and can also assure themselves of a spot in the inaugural NESCAC conference tournament with just one win in their final four games.

After Wesleyan, the Jeffs head to Connecticut College on Saturday, before returning home next weekend to close out the regular season with a pair of huge conference battles, hosting Bowdoin and Colby Colleges, currently the first and second-place teams in the league.

Bergman is the first Jeff to receive conference honors all season, though Russell was honored as the New England Division III Rookie of the Week last month.