Women's Basketball Signs Two
Nov. 11, 2004
NACOGDOCHES - The Stephen F. Austin Ladyjack basketball team signed Malorie Fowler (Rio Vista, Texas) and Jessica Gaines (Rockdale, Texas) to National Letters of Intent announced SFA head coach Lee Ann Riley Thursday afternoon.
"We are very excited about this recruiting class," said Riley. "Both of these young ladies brings something special to our program. These two are true student-athletes who succeed in the classroom as well as on the court."
Fowler adds a great deal of size to the Ladyjacks' low post both offensively and defensively at 6-3. She averaged nearly a triple-double per game for head coach Keith Durrett at Rio Vista High School, scoring 17.2 points, hauling in 15.1 rebounds and blocking 7.0 shots per game. Fowler is a very accurate shooter nailing over 70 percent of her shots from the field and the free-throw line. She has guided her prep squad to three area and three district titles and two regional semi-final appearances in her three seasons on the varsity squad. During that time, she has also been a two-time first-team all-district selection, district newcomer of the year and district defensive player of the year.
"Malorie is an athletic post with good size who runs the floor well," said Riley. "She will be a great addition to our program with her ability to run defend and score on the block. Malorie committed to us early in the recruiting process and never wavered on her decision."
"Marlorie's size and leadership will be hard to replace. She has been such an important part of our program the past four years," added Durrett.
Gaines is a 5-8 guard from Rockdale, Texas, who averaged 20.2 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.5 steals and 2.0 assists per game at Rockdale High. Gaines is a first-team all-district selection who earned first-team Super Centex honors as a junior. She is a four-year member of the varsity squad that has been a two-time Texas Basketball All-State selection.
"Jessica is a strong physical guard who can score inside and out," said Riley. Jessica is a true gym rat who is always working on her game. A very competitive young lady who excels in the classroom as well as on the court."
"She will bring character, dedication, knowledge and a love of the game to the Ladyjack program. At eight years old, Jessica began her journey in basketball. She is the go-to player on my team. Her game includes the ability to drive to the basket, hit the three and play strong inside the box. After four years playing on varsity, Jessica will be irreplaceable," added high school coach Janet Havelka.
Both young ladies are excited about opportunity of continuing their playing careers at SFA.
"I chose to be a Ladyjack because I feel like their coaching staff and players will get me to the skill level I need to be a successful basketball player. Everyone is very nice and it just seem to be the right place for me," added Fowler.
"This is the fulfillment of a dream that I have worked many years (to achieve)," said Gaines. "It's an opportunity to play for a great coach and with some terrific teammates. I really hope to be able to help the team. I appreciate coach Riley offering me this opportunity to grow as a player and a person."
The Ladyjacks open the 2004-05 season Friday Nov. 19, when they host Rice in the William R. Johnson Coliseum. The game is slated to tip-off at 7 p.m.