2018-19 Season: Personnel News

East Carolina

October 17, 2018: An internal review by ECU’s compliance office has led to the resignation of head coach Heather Macy, effective immediately. Assistant coach Chad Killinger was named interim head coach. The compliance review apparently involved the violation of practice rules. Official press release:

ECU Head Women’s Basketball Coach Heather Macy announced Wednesday she has resigned from her position effective immediately.

Her decision came at the conclusion of an internal review of the program led by the athletics department’s office of compliance.

“I regret that my misunderstanding about practice rules has led to this end, but I have chosen to resign in order to save the University and the team from any unnecessary distractions,” Macy said.

Macy, who compiled a 134-117 (.534) record in eight seasons leading the Pirates, will be reassigned within the department until the completion of her employment on Dec. 17, 2018.

Appointed as the Pirates’ ninth head coach in 2010, Macy finished her ECU tenure as the all-time winningest coach in program history and three postseason appearances.

Current assistant coach Chad Killinger has accepted the role as interim head coach according to ECU Acting Chief Operating Officer Lee Workman.

October 25, 2018: Nique Cherry, a 6-0 forward out of Laurel, MS, who had signed with East Carolina as a juco transfer from Jones County JC (MS), announced that she’s transferring to Clemson, following the coaching change. In addition, Kaylee Jefferson, a 6-0 guard hailing from Sulphur Springs, TX, is no longer listed on the ECU roster. She was one of two incoming freshmen who had signed with the Pirates in November 2017. UPDATE (December 3): Jefferson is transferring to Sam Houston State, in a midyear transfer.

December 26, 2018: Yet another coaching change for the Pirates, as interim head coach Chad Killinger has taken a leave of absence to address a medical issue and assistant coach Nicole Mealing has been named acting head coach. Despite this turmoil, ECU is off to its best start in six years, with a record of 9-2.

ECU Director of Athletics Jon Gilbert announced Wednesday evening that assistant women’s basketball coach Nicole Mealing will serve as the Pirates’ acting head coach for the remainder of the season.

ECU has opened the 2018-2019 campaign with a 9-2 record under interim head coach Chad Killinger, the program’s best start in six years. Killinger, who assumed interim duties in October, will depart his post to take a leave of absence to address a non-life threatening health issue following a recent medical evaluation.

Mealing is in her third season as an assistant on the ECU staff and in her seventh overall year in Greenville.

Eastern Illinois

January 18, 2019: EIU currently has two starters, both forwards, out with injuries: Grace McRae (back) and Jennifer Nehls (foot).

Once again, EIU will be short-handed while two of its starters sit due to injury – forwards Grace McRae (back) and Jennifer Nehls (foot) are out Saturday. Their absence was no problem Thursday, thanks to freshman forward Abby Wahl, who Bollant called the team’s most improved player since summer workouts.

Eastern Kentucky

March 2, 2019Chrissy Roberts will not return as the team’s head coach next season. EKU went 2-27 in 2018-19. Roberts’s 11-year record was 122-194.

Eastern Michigan

January 11, 2019: The Eagles are holding walk-on tryouts on January 21. It’s unclear if they have had any recent injuries that would have prompted this, but the team does have two players out for the season, per the latest game notes: sophomore guard Juanita Agosto (undisclosed injury sustained on November 21) and sophomore forward RayJon Harris (undisclosed preseason injury).


November 8, 2018: Hearing that junior guard Jada Graves is out for the season after suffering a knee injury in the team’s opening game versus North Carolina on Tuesday. (Graves’s injury was described in this article, from which the extract below came. That article mentions that sophomore forward Jaylin Powell was also injured in the same game, but her status is unknown.)

Things went from bad to worse for the Phoenix in the fourth quarter. Down 32 points with just under six and a half minutes to play in the game, junior guard Jada Graves went down screaming in pain, grabbing her right knee. Though Smith may very well have just lost two of her starters in the first game of the season due to injuries, Smith is constantly focused on the end goal.

“Of course this is not what I had anticipated for our home opener, but it just goes back to what we’ve done all preseason: make adjustments and keep moving forward,” Smith said.

Graves was helped off the court to cheers from all fans but was completely unable to put any weight on her injured leg.


January 30, 2019: Starting freshman forward Kristina Moore (4.9 PPG, 2.3 RPG) will miss “up to six weeks” with an arm injury (which means she may miss the rest of the Gators’ season).

Moore, who is currently the only player to start all 20 games this season, is expected to miss up to six weeks while she recovers from a left arm injury. She’ll leave a big hole in a lineup that already lacks the size to compete with other teams in the paint.

Florida A&M

February 12, 2019: Head coach LeDawn Gibson and assistant coach LaTasha Shipman-Ganus have been fired. Assistant coach Kevin Lynum has been named interim head coach.

A spokesperson at Florida A&M confirmed to WTXL that head coach LeDawn Gibson has been let go after the team fell to Norfolk State Tuesday. They sent WTXL the following statement:

“The Florida A&M University (FAMU) Department of Athletics announced today that women’s basketball coach LeDawn Gibson and assistant coach LaTasha Shipman-Ganus will not return to the program. Assistant coach Kevin Lynum will assume responsibilities as interim head coach for the remainder of the season.

Florida Gulf Coast

February 13, 2019: Two of the team’s starters, Keri Jewett-Giles and Destiny Washington, missed FGCU’s victory over NJIT yesterday after being suspended following an altercation between the players after their last game.

Junior guard Keri Jewett-Giles, a Fort Myers native and of Dunbar High graduate, and senior forward Destiny Washington were suspended for the Eagles’ 61-42 win over NJIT at Alico Arena. The suspensions came from the ASUN office for violating the conference’s code of conduct.

The incident occurred Saturday, after FGCU’s 65-64 win at Liberty. The altercation between players happened as the Eagles were headed to their team bus.

“The violation was a failure to meet the expected behavioral standard,” ASUN commissionr Ted Gumbart said in an email to the Naples Daily News.

February 26, 2019: A knee injury has ended the season for senior point guard Lisa Zderadicka (9.4 PPG, 3.9 APG).

The FGCU women’s basketball team will be without the services of senior point guard Lisa Zderadicka for the remainder of the season due to a knee injury.

Zderadicka (Vienna, Austria/HAK Korneuburg) suffered the injury against Lipscomb on Feb. 19 and sat out Saturday’s win over Kennesaw State. She was averaging 9.4 points, 2.8 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.8 steals through 25 games and ranked 26th in the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.45.

“Lisa is a fantastic point guard who usually played her best in the biggest moments,” FGCU head coach Karl Smesko said. “She is a team leader who will continue to help the team in any way she can.”

March 7, 2019: Senior forward Destiny Washington is doubtful for FGCU’s ASUN tournament game tomorrow.

During Tuesday’s 61-42 win over Stetson, Eagles senior forward Destiny Washington was sent to the hospital following a collision that knocked her to the ground. Medical personnel applied a neck brace to Washington and carried her out on a backboard.

Washington was released from the hospital that night. FGCU coach Karl Smesko said Thursday that Washington is doubtful for Friday’s home game against No. 8 seed NJIT (6-23, 2-14 ASUN).

UPDATE (March 8): Washington did not play in the game; she’s being treated for a concussion.

March 29, 2019: Redshirt junior guard Keri Jewett-Giles apparently won’t return to FGCU next season to use her final year of eligibility. She was the team’s second-leading scorer in 2018-19 (12.8 PPG).

FGCU women’s basketball starter Keri Jewett-Giles announced her probable departure out of FGCU Athletics on Friday night, following the team’s NCAA tournament loss against Miami.

If Jewett-Giles were to leave, she would not be eligible to play at another school and will end her career as a college athlete.

“Coach recruited me out of high school and I didn’t make the decision to come, but I’m glad I returned home,” said Jewett-Giles at Saturday’s post-game press conference. “I learned so many things. I’m just glad coach gave me the opportunity to come back. This was, I’ll say, my last game for FGCU.”

Florida State

July 26, 2018: Incoming freshman guard Izabela Nicoletti, ranked #16 in the 2018 class by espnW, will miss the 2018-19 season with a knee injury suffered in off-season workouts.

Top-notch freshman guard Izabela Nicoletti, labeled as one of the 2018 class’ very best guards, will miss the 2018-19 season after suffering a knee injury in off-season workouts on Wednesday morning.

The native of Americana, Sao Paulo, Brazil, is a McDonald’s All-American who also competed in the Jordan Brand Classic alongside teammate Valencia Myers earlier in the year. ESPNW rated her as the 16th-best player in the 2018 recruiting class as well as a Top-5 guard.

October 28, 2018: Redshirt sophomore forward Iho Lopez suffered multiple injuries in a car accident, leaving her “out for an undetermined amount of time.”

Sophomore forward Iho Lopez’ multiple injuries sustained in a car accident this week which will keep her out for an undetermined amount of time will increase Myers’ usage and importance this season.

January 27, 2019: Freshman guard Amaya Brown (3.1 PPG) suffered a knee injury in the Seminoles’ victory over Virginia Tech.

It was a bittersweet win for Florida State, said Semrau. FSU’s Amaya Brown was carried to the locker room after suffering a knee injury with 1:37 left.

UPDATE (Jan. 28): Brown’s knee injury is season ending, FSU reports.

Florida State Women’s Basketball freshman guard Amaya Brown will miss the rest of the 2018-19 season with a season-ending knee injury suffered in Sunday’s win at Virginia Tech.

Brown, who hails from Albuquerque, N.M., became a key part of the Seminoles’ rotation and increased her floor time at the start of ACC play because of her outstanding perimeter defense. The active guard started two of the last three games and averaged nearly 18 minutes in conference games.

Also, this article implies that Iho Lopez is out for the season and that FSU is down to eight healthy players.

Along with sophomore forward Iho Lopez, that leaves FSU with three players out for the season and only eight healthy players.

George Washington

November 5, 2018: Freshman guard Tori Hyduke is out for the season with an ACL injury.

Freshman guard Tori Hyduke and redshirt sophomore guard Sydney Zambrotta were slated as the next in line to run the floor behind senior guard Mei-Lyn Bautista, but an ACL injury has rendered Hyduke unable to play and Zambrotta – a transfer from Louisville – is forced to sit out this season due to NCAA transfer rules.

With Hyduke and Zambrotta out of the realm of possibilities, the responsibility of running the floor behind Bautista will instead fall on sophomore guard Lexus Levy and freshman guard Maddie Loder, Rizzotti said.

“Neither one of them are true point guards, but both of them have experience playing point, and I’ve challenged them to step up their game,” Rizzotti said.

February 28, 2019: Senior point guard Mei-Lyn Bautista has missed the last two games with a possible concussion.

Women’s basketball has been taking on the final stretch of Atlantic 10 play without its floor general.

Senior guard Mei-Lyn Bautista, who averages 36 minutes per game and has dished out a team-high 101 assists on the year, has missed the last two contests due to a possible concussion sustained sometime after GW’s 66–59 win over Massachusetts Feb. 20. An athletic department spokesman said he does not know when Bautista will return to play and said she is following “concussion protocol.”


November 1, 2018: Sophomore guard Que Morrison is out “indefinitely” with a knee injury. She was the team’s third-leading scorer and rebounder in 2017-18, averaging 8.6 PPG and 5.1 RPG.

Georgia sophomore guard Que Morrison will miss the start of the season after suffering a torn lateral meniscus injury in practices leading up to the season opener on Nov. 9 against St. Bonaventure.

Morrison underwent surgery Thursday and is expected to make a full recovery, a team source told the Athens Banner-Herald. Morrison was seen on crutches prior to undergoing the procedure and wasn’t bearing weight on her left leg. She is considered to be out indefinitely.

November 30, 2018: Sophomore forward Malury Bates is out for the season with a torn ACL. Through the first seven games of 2018-19, she had averaged 5 points and 5 boards per game, in 16.1 MPG off the bench.

December 4, 2018: Que Morrison has made her season debut, returning from the preseason knee injury.

It took longer than she would’ve liked, but one of Georgia’s best players from last season finally made her 2018 season debut. Que Morrison came off the bench for Georgia women’s basketball and added two points in 13 minutes in the Lady Bulldogs’ 61-38 victory over Furman at Stegeman Coliseum on Tuesday night.

February 20, 2019: Head coach Joni Taylor may miss up to two games after giving birth (a girl) just 12 hours after coaching in a game.

There is no timetable for her return, but the original plan was to miss one game (on her original Feb. 28 due date) against Florida prior to reclaiming her role on March 3 vs. Kentucky. After a slight alteration, Caldwell said she may miss up to two games but wouldn’t be surprised to see Taylor “pop up” on the bench as a spectator for Thursday night’s game. She missed six games after Jacie’s birth, but that was at the beginning of the season.

UPDATE (Feb. 22): Taylor was actually on the bench for UGA’s very next game, although she was not coaching. Associate head coach Karen Lange is serving as interim head coach.

Georgia Southern

March 10, 2019: Kip Drown is out as head coach. In four seasons at the helm, he had an overall record of 32-86, with a Sun Belt mark of 18-57.

Georgia Southern University will not renew the contract of Eagle women’s basketball coach Kip Drownfor the 2019-20 season, Athletic Director Tom Kleinlein announced Sunday morning.

“I appreciate the effort of Kip Drown over the past four seasons with our women’s basketball program and want to thank him for leading the Eagles, both on and off the court,” Kleinlein said. “We will begin a national search for a new leader of our program.”

Georgia Tech

February 27, 2019: Head coach MaChelle Joseph, in her 16th year at the school, has been placed on leave over a “pending personnel matter.” Assistant coach Mark Simons will serve as acting head coach.

February 28, 2019: MaChelle Joseph‘s attorney claims that she was suspended by the athletic department as retaliation for “raising concerns about gender equity issues.” The attorney released this statement today:

“Head Women’s Basketball Coach MaChelle Joseph was suspended yesterday without explanation from the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). Given that the school has failed to provide any explanation to Coach Joseph, her agent, or her lawyers, despite repeated requests, we are left to conclude that this is the latest, and most serious, action in a string of ongoing retaliation that she has suffered for raising concerns about gender equity issues in the Athletic Department. Coach Joseph, who has served at Georgia Tech for over 15 years, and is the winningest coach in the history of Georgia Tech Women’s Basketball, can conceive of no action by her that would warrant such a drastic and punitive measure. Coach Joseph intends to take whatever steps are necessary to defend her reputation and return to coaching her team, which is currently poised to earn a much coveted berth in the NCAA tournament.”

The same article says that two Tech starters—guards Francesca Pan and Kierra Fletcher—did not travel with the team for its game at Miami tonight for “personal reasons.”

Two team members, starting guards Francesca Pan and Kierra Fletcher, did not make the trip for what a team spokeswoman said were “personal reasons.”

March 3, 2019: Kierra Fletcher and Francesca Pan missed their second-straight game (noted in this article).

Also, grad assistant Antonia Peresson was fired by Georgia Tech “for not following instructions to the staff to not have private conversations with team members” after Joseph was put on leave.

“They told us that we could not have private conversations with student-athletes, and I did,” Peresson told the AJC Sunday. “I got in touch with a student-athlete because I was one of their teammates and I have that bond. They were like my little sisters. I have that bond. I was just worried about them because of this whole thing.”

March 5, 2019: An AP article posted today includes some quotes from acting head coach Mark Simons on the two missing players and on MaChelle Joseph.

Kierra Fletcher and Francesca Pan, two of Georgia Tech’s top four scorers, left the team at the same time Joseph was forced out.

Assistant coach Mark Simons, serving as acting head coach, told The Associated Press on Tuesday Fletcher and Pan made the decisions to leave the team.

“We’ve had no contact with them,” Simons said when asked about Fletcher and Pan.

“We’re told that they’re fine. It was a personal decision on their part and that’s about it.”

Simons would not say if he has had any communication with Joseph.

“I’m not allowed to comment on that,” he said. “That was a personnel decision but I’m really not allowed to comment on anything to do with it. I apologize.”


March 11, 2019: Both Laura Stockton and Jill Townsend went down with what appeared to be serious injuries in today’s WCC semifinal game.

The jubilation after Zykera Rice’s game-winning layup was stunted as minds drifted to the health of GU teammates Laura Stockton and Jill Townsend, as each appeared to suffer serious leg injuries during Monday afternoons 78-77 win. . . .

Fortier was unable to provide an update on the severity or specifics of Stockton or Townsend’s injuries. She said that both were currently being assessed by doctors, but nothing would be known until both were further evaluated once the team returned to Spokane.

“Neither of them looked too happy right now and they are in a lot of pain, but that is the most I know,” she said.

March 13, 2019: The injuries to Laura Stockton and Jill Townsend both turned out to be season-ending, according to this article.

Green Bay

September 24, 2018: The Phoenix picked up a late addition to their 2018-19 roster, Carly Mohns, a grad-transfer from Iowa.

The Green Bay women’s basketball program has announced the addition of graduate-transfer Carly Mohns, who will be eligible to play immediately in 2018-19. Mohns graduated from Iowa in 2018 with a Bachelor’s degree in sport and recreation management and has begun working on her Master’s degree at the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay this fall.

“Initially I wasn’t sure I was going to use my fifth year of eligibility, but after meeting with the team and coaches at Green Bay it seemed like the perfect place to finish my collegiate career,” Mohns said. “I’m excited to return to my home state of Wisconsin and get back on the court for my final season.”

October 24, 2018: Junior guard Caitlyn Hibner, a returning starter from last season (5.3 PPG, 4 RPG), will miss the 2018-19 campaign after undergoing Tommy John surgery over the summer.

Things are made more difficult with the loss of 6-foot junior guard Caitlyn Hibner, who is out for the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in August. The arm injury mostly is seen in baseball.

[Green Bay head coach Kevin] Borseth said she first sustained the injury last season, which forced her to miss a loss at Cleveland State in February. She came off the bench her first two games back but started during the Horizon League tournament and against Minnesota in the NCAA tournament.

November 8, 2018: The Phoenix lose a second player to a season-ending injury: sophomore forward Karly Murphy, a starter and the team’s leading returning scorer from last season (8.1 PPG), goes down with a knee injury.

Coach Kevin Borseth issued a statement Thursday: “After evaluations from our medical staff, it has been determined Karly Murphy suffered a torn ACL in Tuesday’s game against Northwestern. She will undergo surgery and miss the remainder of the 2018-19 season. Karly will have the full support of our team and medical staff during this difficult time.”

January 4, 2019: More injury woes for the Phoenix, as junior guard Frankie Wurtz, the team’s leading scorer (11.9 PPG), is out indefinitely with a lower body injury.

Junior guard Frankie Wurtz, who missed UWGB’s loss to Wright State on Thursday night, is out indefinitely with a lower body injury.

February 7, 2019: Frankie Wurtz has returned to the floor for Green Bay.

Welcome back, Frankie Wurtz.

With one of the biggest games of the season looming, the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay women dominated Northern Kentucky University 70-42 on Thursday night in front of 1,889 at the Kress Center.

In her second game back after missing eight contests with a lower body injury, Wurtz led all scorers with 13 points.

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Categories: 2018–19 season

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