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Women's Basketball Announces Four Additions to the 2014-15 Roster

Nov. 14, 2013

Early Signing Day Central

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss head women's basketball Coach Joye Lee-McNelis announced the signing of Shakoa Edwards of Boynton Beach, Fla., Jessica Powers of Carriere, Miss., and Megan Brown of Slidell, La., to national letters of the intent and grant-in-aid scholarships for the 2014-15 academic year. The Lady Eagles also added a preferred walk-on to the squad.

"We are thrilled to add these four players to our class of 2014," McNelis said. "All of these young ladies are great people who are passionate about becoming a Lady Eagle. They will aspire to help our program rise to the top and become a part of our university community."

Edwards, a 5-4 guard, was rated a 3-Star athlete by ProspectsNation.com and a 4-Star athlete by Florida Prospects. She averaged 17.6 points, 10.2 assists, 7.4 rebounds and 5.9 steals as a junior for Boynton Beach High School. Edwards was a Palm Beach Post All-Area selection last season and led her team to a 21-6 record and a district 15-5A championship. She received all-state, all-county and all-conference accolades. She was also named the FACA District 20 Player of the Year and The Sun Sentinel Player of the Year.

Edwards ranks third in school history with 1,235 career points, sixth in rebounds (416), first in assists (500), fourth in three-pointers (81), first in steals (390) and third in free throws made (339). She holds the school record for triple-doubles and double-doubles. She scored the most points in a season with 478 while dishing out a personal and season-best 255 assists while pocketing 157 steals. Edwards helped lead the Tigers a berth in the regional tournament. She had 17 points in the district title game against Suncoast and had 29 points in a regular-season 75-60 district win over Jensen Beach.

In her first game this season, Edwards recorded a triple double with 26 points, 16 rebounds and 10 steals.

Edwards played for elite travel team the Miami Suns Fowles. She teamed with current Lady Eagle player Brittanny Dinkins to win several championships.


Shakoa Edwards   Shakoa Edwards
PG - 5'4"
Freshman
Boynton Beach (Boynton Beach, Fla.)

Coach Joye Lee-McNelis Quotes
"We recruited Shakoa for several years and watched her develop as a true point guard. Her leadership skills at such a young age are impressive. She is cat quick and has the ability to create scoring opportunities for herself and teammates. She loves the game and possesses a desire to be the best."

"We believe Shakoa fills a need in helping us prepare for the departure of All-C-USA player, senior Jamierra Faulkner."

What Coach Lisa Johnson is saying about Shakoa Edwards
"Shakoa is an impact player who makes everyone else around her better. She has the ability to take over a game by leading as well as competing to get the win. I am happy she chose a program that possesses a family environment and plays an up tempo game."

Why Southern Miss?
"I chose the University of Southern Mississippi because they were the first school to offer me a scholarship, they were loyal to me even when I was struggling with the recruiting process, and during my visit, it was `true family,' just like they had described to me and my mom. My mom and I felt a sense of security with the staff, team and administration."


Jessica Powers   Jessica Powers
C - 6'6"
Freshman
Pearl River Central (Carriere, Miss.)

Powers, a 6-6 center, averaged a triple-double with 14.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 10.0 blocked shots per game as a junior at Pearl River Central High School. She was named to the 2013-14 Clarion Leger Dandy Dozen. She earned 8-5A Defensive Player of the Year and was named to the Junior Mississippi All-Star Game (North vs. South). Powers was named Player of the Game against D'Iberville when she recorded a triple-double with 16 blocked shots, 14 rebounds and 24 points.

Powers is listed as a candidate for Mississippi Player of the Year.

Coach Joye Lee-McNelis Quotes
"We had the privilege to work with Jessica in our camps and I was excited to learn more about her and her aspiration of becoming a very good basketball player. We offered Jessica last year because we believed her best basketball would be ahead of her. We watched Jessica set a record of 21 blocked shots in a game. She is 6'6", long and lean, and has the body that we can add strength as she matures. Jessica runs the floor well for her size and has a soft touch around the glass. We are excited about Jessica's future and to have signed one of Mississippi's best."

What Coach Tony LaBella and Kay Inabinett are saying about Jessica Powers
"Jessica is a prolific shot blocker who has a lot of upside. At the next level, I see her as being a player that can score from inside and out."

"Although I have only coached Jess for two years, I have seen her improve and grow both on and off the court. Here at PRC, we strive to create a family type atmosphere, and I believe Jess felt that same connection with Southern Miss."

Why Southern Miss?
"I chose Southern Miss because I felt like Coach McNelis and her staff would not only help me grow as a player but also as a person. I know I will be pushed to become better on all levels."



Megan Brown   Megan Brown
G/F - 5'10"
Freshman
Salmen (Slidell, La.)

Brown, a 5-10 guard, is a Louisiana all-state selection. She has scored 1,061 points in her career. She averaged 16 points and seven rebounds over her career at Salmen High School where she played for Coach Kevin Anderson. She is a three-time all-district selection while earning all-Metro honors as well. She earned all-state honors and helped her team win the district 4A state championship. Brown was tabbed the team's MVP and top defender.

Coach Joye Lee-McNelis Quotes
"Megan Brown is another Lady Eagle who attended our camps over the past several years. We were able to learn about Megan as a person and as a player. Megan has a very high IQ as a basketball player and has a skill set that will enhance our perimeter game. Megan loves the game and possesses a passion to be her best. She is a tireless worker who is considered a `gym rat.' Megan played club ball for the Lady Blues out of New Orleans. Her team competed at a high level each summer as they won many games."

What Coach Kevin Anderson is saying about Megan Brown
"Megan Brown is both an outstanding player and an excellent student. She has been selected team captain for the past three years. As a freshman, she was selected team MVP and to the all-district team. As a sophomore, she was selected the team top defender, all-District, all-Metro, and second team all-state. As a junior, she received the sportsmanship award and was again selected to all-district. She is not only an excellent player, but is both a role model and leader on and off the court. She has maintained a 4.0 average throughout her high school career and was a key player in winning the District 4A State Championship. Megan's hard work and determination will help her succeed in any challenge she will face."


Katie Dozier   Katie Dozier
G - 5'6"
Freshman
Walton (Marietta, Ga.)

Also joining the team for the 2014-15 season is Katie Dozier of Marietta, Ga.

Dozier, a 5-6 guard, was a three-year letterwinner at Walton High School for Coach Karen Duncan. She served as her team's captain. She averaged 14.3 points as a junior. She received the Scholar Athlete Award with a 4.01 GPA. She holds the school record for most three-pointers in a single game. She also received the Raider Award for character and is a member of the National Honor Society.

Coach Joye Lee-McNelis Quotes
"Katie faced a challenge when she injured her knee during her junior season and was not allowed to compete. Katie's desire to push beyond and make the comeback was impressive. She did not allow this to diminish her dream of playing college basketball. Katie is a tireless worker who has overcome disappointment due to her injury and celebrated with 16 points in her first game this season. We are very excited to have this young lady join the Lady Eagles. She is truly going to be a valuable asset in our program."

Why Southern Miss?
"I chose the University of Southern Mississippi due to the people and the amazing culture. Coach McNelis made me feel at home as soon as I stepped foot on the campus. Her passion about the game and her religious background were huge draws for me. Southern Miss is allowing me to pursue my dreams both athletically and academically. The opportunity to play Division I basketball and to explore the academic challenges of the Honors College will provide me with the best opportunity to succeed in the real world. I am excited to pursue my future as a Lady Eagle, both academically and athletically."

"We are honored to have all four of these young ladies in our program," said McNelis. "They are a group of high character, good students who come from winning programs and believe in our philosophy as coaches."

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