DURHAM, N.H. -- University of New Hampshire head women's basketball coach Sue Johnson has announced that six high school seniors have signed National Letters of Intent during the early signing period last month to attend UNH and play for the Wildcats beginning in the 2006-07 academic year.
"We're very excited about our six signed players for next season," Johnson said. "This class is very deep and talented. I very much look forward to working with all six student-athletes."
Racheal Fowler is a 6'2" post player from Glassboro, N.J., who possesses great size and athleticism. Last season Fowler averaged a double-double while leading Glassboro High School to another deep run in the New Jersey state tournament.
One of four New Englanders in this group of signees, Chrissy Hall, a native of Northbridge, Mass., is a 6'0" post player who averaged 19.4 points, 14 rebounds, four assists, two steals, and 4.6 blocked shots per game last season. She holds the school record at Northbridge High School for most points in a game with 32 and has been named captain not only of the basketball team but also of the cross country and track and field teams.
"The incoming centers, Racheal Fowler and Chrissy Hall, will provide much-needed depth on the block and on the boards," said Johnson.
Jenny McDade, the 2005 New Hampshire Player of the Year, will travel the short distance from Derry, N.H., to Durham to play for the Wildcats. Last season the 5'11" guard led Pinkerton Academy to its first-ever undefeated season, leading the league in scoring with 18 points per game, plus averaging 11 rebounds, five assists, five steals, and two blocks per game. McDade has also been part of three consecutive AAU state championship teams.
From Waterford, Conn., Amy Simpson, a 5'10" guard, has earned the team MVP award at Waterford High School in each of the past two seasons. Averaging 15 points, seven rebounds, and six assists per game, Simpson has received All-Area honors from both New London Day and Norwich Bulletin, and was named to the All-Conference team in both her sophomore and junior years.
"I expect the incoming guards, local Pinkerton Academy standout Jenny McDade and Amy Simpson, to provide a scoring punch from the outside," Johnson said.
Althena Gaines, also from Glassboro, N.J., is a 5'9" wing player and high school teammate of fellow signee Racheal Fowler at Glassboro High School. Gaines, who can play both the guard and forward positions, averaged ten points and six rebounds while serving as a three-year captain at Glassboro High.
A native of Norfolk, Mass., Candace Williams has been an All-State player at St. Raphael Academy in Rhode Island. Last season the 6'0" power forward averaged a double-double with 21 points and 10.5 rebounds per game, earning her First Team All-State honors from the Rhode Island High School Coaches Association. Williams was the female recipient of the 2005 Wendy's High School Heisman state award for Rhode Island.
"Althena Gaines and Candace Williams are versatile players who will contribute both in the paint and on the perimeter," Johnson remarked.
The University of New Hampshire, a member of the America East Conference, has started the 2005-06 season with a 6-2 record. The Wildcats are coming off a third place conference finish in 2004-05 and an appearance in the America East Tournament semifinals for the third time in the last four seasons.