December 3, 2013

Women's Basketball Announces the Signing of Four Student-Athletes

DURHAM, N.H.Maureen Magarity, head coach of the University of New Hampshire women's basketball program, has announced that four players have signed a National Letter of Intent and committed to attend UNH and play for the Wildcat women's basketball program next season.

Morgan Bassett-Smith, a 6-2 center from Pickerington, Ohio, plays for head coach Dave Butcher at Pickerington North High School.  She also plays AAU for Central Ohio SMACC under Joe Fowler. Mentioned as the 83rd best center/forward in the country by Ohio Girls Basketball Report, Bassett-Smith earned a Division 2 AAU Ohio state championship with Central Ohio SMACC. 

"Morgan's size and strength around the rim will be a welcomed addition to the program," Magarity said.  "She is a skilled post player who has the ability to score around the basket as well as away from the rim.  Morgan is an incredibly determined rebounder and defender."

Peyton Booth, a 5-10 guard from Mansfield, Ohio, plays for head coach Andrew Booth at Wadsworth High School. In addition, she plays AAU for Ohio Glory under Marwan Miller.

A two-sport athlete for volleyball and women's basketball at Wadsworth, Smith led her team in rebounds, assists, blocked shots and steals in her junior year. Furthermore, the First Team All-League selection helped Wadsworth to two straight Ohio Big School Division quarterfinal appearances.

"Peyton will be an outstanding addition to our backcourt," Magarity said. "She has a versatile skill set and a sound understanding of the game.  Peyton can score from the outside but also does a nice job attacking the rim.  As the daughter of a coach, Peyton has an amazing basketball IQ and work ethic."

Emily Peters, a 5-6 guard from Lindstrom, Minn., is a three-time honor roll recipient under Jen Wagner at Forest Lake High School. She also plays AAU basketball for the Minnesota Fury under head coach Nick Storm. Voted captain for the 2013-14 season at Forrest Lake, Peters was named to the USJN Battle of the Programs All-Star Team. Additionally, Peters was part of two state AAU titles with the Fury.

"Emily is an incredibly hard-working combo guard who reminds me a lot of Kelsey Hogan (Nashua, N.H.)," Magarity said.  "She is a tremendous defender and has the offensive skills and basketball IQ that will allow her to play at either guard position." 

Aliza Simpson, a 5-9 guard from Londonderry, N.H., plays for head coach John Fagula at Londonderry High School. In addition, she plays AAU for the New England Crusaders under Maureen LaRoche.

A New Hampshire Basketball Coaches Organization First Team selection in 2012 and 2013, Simpson led Londonderry to the NHIAA Class L Final Four in 2012 and 2013. With the Crusaders, Simpson was a New Hampshire AAU state champion with the U16 team and a two-time Nike Skills invitee.

"Aliza is an outstanding point guard who makes everyone else around her better," Magarity said. "She is one of the best passers I have seen and is always trying to put teammates in a position to score. Aliza really likes to get out and push the ball and makes excellent decisions in transition." 

UNH women's basketball returns to Durham as the Wildcats will host Howard University in a non-conference matchup. UNH and Howard will tip off on Wednesday, Dec. 4 at 7:00 p.m. For tickets, visit UNHWildcats.com or call (603) 862-4000, extension 5.

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