Women's Hoops Ink Three During Spring Signing Period
April 20, 2004
Cape Girardeau, Mo. - Head women's basketball coach B.J. Smith announces three more signing for next season. Junior college transfers Wanika Owsley and Simone Jackson from Southeastern Illinois Community College and Missy Whitney out of Charleston High School have all committed to Southeast women's basketball.
Five-foot seven, sophomore point guard Owsley and fellow 5'8 sophomore guard Jackson led their squad to their first national tournament appearance in 15 years. They finished the season ranked seventh in the national polls with a record of 28-7, while recording a perfect 17-0 record in the Great Rivers Athletic Conference. These two will rejoin former teammate, center Chandra Brown, on the Otahkian squad this upcoming season.
Owsley, originally from Indianapolis, averaged 12 points and eight assists per game, as her accomplishments earned her All-Conference, All-Region and All-Tournament honors. Her eight assists per game put her among the nation's elite, ranking tenth in the nation.
While Kingston, Jamaica native, Jackson, averaged nine points, five rebounds and five assists per game this season. She is a very athletic guard who earned All-Conference honors for her efforts this season.
"Both players are very, very athletic, they'll fit very well into our transition game, and the great thing is they both know how to win and how to work," Smith said. "We lost two very good guards in Sarah Costello and Kenja White. Those are big shoes to fill, but they'll help us fill those shoes."
Also signing is Charleston High School standout Missy Whitney. This 6'1 forward dominates the lane as she averaged a double-double on the season with 22.3 points and 11 rebounds per game, to lead her squad to its first district title since 1986. She also has an outstanding shot from the charity stripe, shooting 77 percent from the line this season. For her accomplishments she was named first-team All-State and Sikeston Standard Democrat Player of the Year.
"She's the first Missouri kid we've signed, and it's great to get a local player," said Smith, who recently completed his second season at Southeast. "She's a very good athlete, and we signed her over St. Louis and Austin Peay, so that's big for us."
"I feel real good about these three. I feel like these girls will move us further down the road as a women's basketball program," remarked Smith. "They are all tremendous basketball players that I feel are really going to help us."
Coach Smith signed two others earlier this year in 6-2 sophomore forward Tatiana Conceicso from Western Nebraska Community College and 5-5 sophomore guard Katrisha Dunn from Eastern Oklahoma Junior College. He expects more signings to come this spring.