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2018-19 Season: Personnel News


Radford

January 5, 2019: Redshirt junior forward Savannah Felgemacher, the team leader in scoring (14.6 PPG) and rebounding (12.6 RPG), has missed the last two games because of an injury, and it appears she will not play in today’s game versus UNC Asheville, as the game notes do not list her as a starter.


Rhode Island

September 17, 2018Ednaija Lassiter was granted her release and will transfer, the AAU team she played for, Boston Showstoppers, reported. Lassister, a 5-7 guard out of Dorchester, Massachusetts, played two seasons at URI, averaging 2.2 PPG in the 21 games in which she appeared in 2017-18.

March 12, 2019: Head coach Daynia La-Force has been fired, after compiling a record of 40-83 over five years on the job.

URI finished the year 8-21, 3-13 in Atlantic 10 play. La-Force has been head coach for five years, having compiled a 40-83 record over that time.


Rice

November 9, 2018: Redshirt sophomore center Nancy Mulkey is out “for the foreseeable future” but “not expected to miss the season” after injuring her right wrist in a preseason practice.

December 15, 2018: Nancy Mulkey made her belated Rice debut in a win over SMU in which she scored 14 points and tallied 5 rebounds and 5 blocks.

Former Oklahoma center Nancy Mulkey made her Rice debut in Saturday’s 66-52 win over Southern Methodist at Tudor Fieldhouse. The 6-9 redshirt sophomore scored 14 points in addition to five rebounds and five blocks.

“It felt great,” Mulkey said. “It’s going to take a little bit more time for me to get comfortable.”


Richmond

March 10, 2019: Michael Shafer is out as head coach after 14 years in the job. His overall record was 223-214.

“We would like to thank Michael Shafer for his hard work and dedication to our university and the Spider women’s basketball program during the past 14 years,” Hardt said. “We appreciate everything he and his family had done for our program, and we wish him the best in all of his future endeavors.”

Shafer is the second-longest tenured coach in Richmond women’s basketball history and produced a 223-214 record in his 14 seasons at the helm. His 223 wins ranks first all-time in program history for wins. He guided the Spiders to six WNIT appearances in his tenure with the last appearance coming in 2015.


Rutgers

February 5, 2019: Senior forward Caitlin Jenkins (6 PPG, 6.8 RPG) has been suspended indefinitely after being arrested in connection with an alleged domestic violence incident.

Senior forward Caitlin Jenkins was arrested on Saturday afternoon, and charged with simple assault and criminal mischief in connection with a domestic violence incident. She was released on her own recognizance. . . .

Jenkins did not suit up on Sunday when Rutgers lost at Minnesota. After the game, the team announced, via its postgame notes, that Jenkins had been suspended indefinitely for a violation of team policy.

February 21, 2019: Head coach C. Vivian Stringer did not make the trip to Ann Arbor for the Scarlet Knights’ game versus Michigan today, because of illness. Assistant coach Tim Eatman served as acting head coach.

Also, among the notes in Rutgers’ recap of the Michigan game, they quietly announced that Caitlin Jenkins (see above) had been dismissed from the team.

February 24, 2019: Head coach C. Vivian Stringer is taking a health-related leave of absence. Assistant coach Tim Eatman will serve as acting head coach (as he did in the Scarlet Knights’ latest game) until her return, which is expected to occur after the Big Ten Tournament.

Assistant coach Timothy Eatman will take over head coaching duties of the Rutgers women’s basketball program for head coach C. Vivian Stringer, who is expected to return to the sidelines following the Big Ten Tournament.

“As you can imagine this was not an easy decision, however, in consultation with my doctors, it is in my best interest to spend time to get healthy before returning to the day-to-day grind of coaching,” said Stringer. “I would not be able to do this without the faith in my assistants Tim Eatman, Kelley Gibson and Nadine Domond to handle the program in my absence. I know our young ladies can finish the season strong playing Scarlet Knight basketball and I will rejoin the team as soon as I can. I would like to thank the many friends, fans and members of the Rutgers Athletics community that have sent me well wishes and I look forward to seeing you all soon.”

February 25, 2019: Another Scarlet Knight has been dismissed from the team, this time redshirt junior point guard Ciani Cryor (8.1 PPG, 5.6 APG), for “a violation of team policy.” She had previously been suspended for several games at the beginning of this season, and, according to this article, her “dismissal stems from another violation of the same issue.”

Ciani “C.C.’’ Cryor, a redshirt junior from Philadelphia whose 6.1 assists-per-game average in Big Ten games is second-best in the conference, was dismissed for a violation of team policy, two persons with knowledge of the situation told NJ Advance Media on Monday.

March 22, 2019: Sierra Calhoun ended her Rutgers career, leaving the team prior to its NCAA-opening loss to Buffalo. Freshman guard Noga Peleg Pelc left that game in the first quarter “after suffering what appeared to be a left leg injury.”

Sierra Calhoun, who averaged 4.0 points in 24 games after arriving as a grad-transfer from Big Ten-rival Ohio State, left the team earlier this week, according to Eatman, who said in a school-released statement: “Sierra informed our staff that she has decided to leave the team in order to prepare for the next chapter in her life.’’

As if that wasn’t enough, Rutgers lost the services of Noga Peleg Pelc, who left the game with 5:06 remaining in the first quarter after suffering what appeared to be a left leg injury. A freshman guard from Israel, Peleg Pelc entered the NCAA Tournament having played in all 31 games, averaging 5.4 points thanks to a team-best 39 3-pointers.


Sacramento State

January 11, 2019: The details here are sketchy, but this article alludes to the Hornets being “plagued by injury” this season. Junior guard Quayonna Harris (3 PPG) played in the first three games but has been out with a knee injury since then.

Harkleroad attributed the change to “personnel issues” as his team has been plagued by injury again this season.

“We’re going to do everything we can that will help us win,” Harkleroad said. “Not having enough quick, healthy bodies right now. Since Quayonna Harris has been out with a knee injury, that slowed us down a little bit and we’ve been banged up.”

March 1, 2019: A State Hornet article runs down the team’s injuries—namely, five season-ending ACL injuries.

Sac State has been bit by the injury bug again this season as five players have gone down with ACL injuries. Redshirt freshman guard Skylar Jackson and junior guard Quayonna Harris have each missed most of the season because of their respective injuries.

In the past month, the Hornets have lost three more players to ACL injuries including starting point guard, junior Tiara Scott, as she went down with a non-contact injury Feb. 14 at Southern Utah. Freshman guard Sarah Abney and freshman forward Maesyn Rix have also been lost to injury in recent weeks.


St. Bonaventure

October 18, 2018: Senior forward Arielle Harvey is out for the 2018-19 season owing to an “undisclosed health issue.” She averaged 9.7 points and 2.8 rebounds in 29.1 MPG in 2017-18.


St. Francis (Pa.)

November 13, 2018: Head coach Joe Haigh is taking a leave of absence for personal reasons. Susan Robinson-Fruchtl, former WBB head coach at St. Francis and the current athletic director, will serve as the interim coach.

Saint Francis University Athletics announced today that Joe Haigh, Women’s Basketball Head Coach, is taking a leave of absence for personal reasons. Director of Athletics Susan Robinson-Fruchtl will serve as interim head coach. She previously served as Saint Francis head coach from 2007-2012.

January 31, 2019: Joe Haigh has now resigned from his position as head coach. Interim coach Susan Robinson-Fruchtl “will continue to provide leadership to the team while long-term plans are finalized.”

Saint Francis University has announced that effective Feb. 1, 2019, Joe Haigh will be stepping down as the head coach of the Saint Francis University women’s basketball team.

“Over the past ten years, especially as head coach during the last six plus seasons, I have given virtually all my time and energy to coaching and developing young women at Saint Francis,” said Haigh. “Most of my waking moments have been dedicated to some aspect of the basketball program, and have applied tremendous pressure to myself especially during last season’s Championship run, and in the ensuing months leading into the 2018-19 academic year.”

While my priorities have been centered on a constant pursuit of excellence in our basketball program, I did not balance my priorities outside of basketball well, affecting my family and my health. With our oldest daughter graduating from high school this year, I now recognize that I’ve missed things that should have been more important in my life such as time with my children. At this time, I am stepping away to focus on my family to be a better father and husband, as well as focus on my health so that I can learn to better balance these priorities as a coach in the future. I am forever grateful for the opportunity to coach the Saint Francis University Red Flash Women’s Basketball program.”

“Joe Haigh and I have discussed this, and I know this was not an easy decision for him,” said Dr. Frank Montecalvo, Vice President for Innovative Partnerships and Student Development, who heads up the Athletics Division.  “Under his coaching, the women’s basketball program has been a model of success in the classroom, in the community, and as a championship contender on the court.  I am saddened that Joe is stepping down but I have deep respect for his decision which is in the best interest of his family.”

Originally, Haigh was granted a leave of absence on Nov. 13 from his coaching role. Director of Athletics Susan Robinson-Fruchtl assumed the position of coach for the season that was already in progress. “We want to thank Susan for her dedication to both the student-athletes and the University as a whole,” said Dr. Montecalvo. She will continue to provide leadership to the team while long-term plans are finalized.


St. John’s

October 26, 2018: Head coach Joe Tartamella has received a contract extension through the 2023-24 season. In six-plus years at the helm, Tartamella has compiled a 130-72 record. It appears that his contract was last extended in 2014, running through the 2019-20 season, which would make this new one a four-year extension.

Tartamella is currently in his seventh season at the helm of the St. John’s women’s basketball program and has led the Red Storm to six-straight postseason appearances. The pinnacle moment of his career came in 2016 when he guided the Johnnies to their fourth BIG EAST title in program history and first in nearly three decades.


Saint Mary’s

January 8, 2019: Milly Yates, a 5-10 redshirt freshman guard out of Sydney, Australia, is no longer listed on the Gales’ roster. After sitting out the 2017-18 season, she appeared in five games this season, playing just 16 minutes without scoring.


San Diego

February 14, 2019: The Toreros, who have lost 12-straight games, are dealing with multiple injured players, with one of their starters currently out.

San Diego suffered multiple injuries at the midpoint this season and is currently without starting guard Myah Pace, as well as Ana Ramosand Karla Martínez.


Seattle

November 30, 2018: The Redhawks have two players out for the season with injuries: redshirt freshman guard Makenna Schoenhofer and sophomore guard McKenzi Williams. Schoenhofer also sat out all of 2017-18 with an injury.

After winning the WAC tournament and advancing to the NCAA tournament – a pair of first-ever feats – last season, SU is off to a rocky start partly due to the loss of two players (Makenna Schoenhofer and McKenzi Williams) to season-ending injuries.

January 11, 2019: Freshman forward Courtney Murphy has returned from her broken ankle. A transfer and injuries have contributed to the Redhawks’ 0-15 start to the 2018-19 season.

The team might have been able to weather the loss of Spiller, but then starting point guard McKenzi Williams was lost to a knee injury and starting forward Courtney Murphy suffered a broken ankle. And Barcomb said another player she expected to have didn’t clear NCAA waivers.

“So, it’s the imperfect storm for us, unfortunately, that has caused us to have the record that we have right now,” Barcomb said. “The injuries made us try to develop role players into starters in the midst of the season. That is incredibly difficult to do. Normally, you develop your role players in the offseason. Unfortunately, we’ve had to roll people out there who are kind of learning on the job.”

But things are looking up. Murphy returned to the lineup two games ago and gave the team an immediate boost, scoring 28 points in those games. After coming oh so close against Grand Canyon, the Redhawks’ next chance to get a win is Saturday at home against Utah Valley.


Seton Hall

October 26, 2018Desiree Elmore, the transfer from Syracuse to Seton Hall, has been granted an immediate-eligibility waiver by the NCAA. She had sat out the 2017-18 season with an injury and has three years of eligibility remaining.

Seton Hall women’s basketball transfer Desiree Elmore (Hartford, Conn.) has been granted a waiver by the NCAA and will be eligible to compete immediately, head coach Anthony Bozzella announced on Wednesday. Elmore will have three years of eligibility remaining beginning with the 2018-19 campaign.

“We are very pleased that Desiree will be able to get back on the court right away,” Bozzella said. “I am happy that we were able to get this clarified in a timely manner and now can focus on getting Desiree and the team ready for the upcoming season.”

Elmore transferred to The Hall after spending the last two seasons at Syracuse. She averaged 2.3 points and 1.8 rebounds in 9.0 minutes per game over 24 contests as a freshman for the Orange in 2016-17, then missed the entirety of the 2017-18 campaign. Coming out of Capital Prep in Hartford, Elmore was a five-star recruit and the No. 51 player in the class according to ESPNW.

December 30, 2018: Freshman forward Femi Funeus is out for the season with a torn Achilles. She had played in 11 games this season, tallying 7.1 PPG and 4.4 RPG in 17 MPG.

February 17, 2019: Leader scorer Shadeen Samuels is out with a shoulder injury.

Another gift came from the Pirates, as their leading scorer, junior forward Shadeen Samuels, was sidelined with an injured shoulder. Samuels is averaging 18.5 points and 8.9 rebounds per game.

February 20, 2019: Shadeen Samuels is expected to be back on the floor “within a week.” (UPDATE [Feb. 22]: She was back in the starting lineup for the Pirates in their game today.)

Seton Hall head coach Tony Bozzella shared today that he is “optimistic she will play within a week.”

Whether or not she features in return fixtures against the Hoyas and Wildcats this Friday and Sunday is uncertain, but signs are pointing toward Samuels being more than ready for the Pirates’ March 3 regular season finale at St. John’s – a game that takes on added significance following the Red Storm’s 4-1 surge in recent weeks.


South Alabama

March 2, 2019: Two players have been suspended for a violation of team rules. Redshirt sophomore and leading scorer Savannah Jones (15.1 PPG) has been suspended indefinitely, while junior forward Kennedi Centers has to sit out today’s game at Texas State.


South Carolina

January 9, 2019: Freshman reserve forward Elysa Wesolek will be out for the Gamecocks’ next game “and likely beyond” after suffering a high ankle sprain.

South Carolina freshman forward Elysa Wesolek hasn’t played the most minutes for the Gamecocks this season, appearing in just seven games and averaging three points a contest. But she will be sidelined for the Florida game and likely beyond after suffering a high ankle sprain in practice, Staley announced Wednesday. Wesolek dealt with other injuries to the same ankle in high school, Staley said.

January 21, 2019: Laeticia Amihere, one of the Gamecocks’ 2019 signees, has enrolled early, but she won’t play during 2018-19. She suffered a season-ending injury earlier this season.

South Carolina head women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley announced that Laeticia Amihere has elected to enroll at the University for the Spring 2019 semester to begin her Gamecock career. Ranked No. 10 overall in the Class of 2019, the 6-foot-3 forward suffered a season-ending injury earlier this season and will not take the court for the Gamecocks in the 2018-19 campaign. She will undergo treatment for the injury with the team’s medical staff in Columbia.

“It was definitely hard to hear that Laeticia had her senior season cut short, but she is a person who makes the best of any situation so we’re excited that she’s decided to join our program earlier than expected,” Staley said. “I have to give credit to Laeticia, her family and our athletics department and University staff for embracing this idea and working to put the pieces in place so quickly to make it possible for her to get here this week.”

February 21, 2019: Junior guard Te’a Cooper, the team’s leading scorer, left today’s game versus Kentucky with a sprained ankle. Her status for upcoming games isn’t yet known.

The Gamecocks took an early 7-4 lead, but their momentum was blunted with 6:15 left in the first quarter, when junior guard Cooper had to leave the game with an ankle sprain. Staley said afterward she was unsure of Cooper’s status moving forward.

UPDATE (Feb. 22): Whether Cooper will be able to play in the Gamecocks’ next game (Sunday) is still not known.

USC coach Dawn Staley said Friday that junior guard Te’a Cooper, who sprained her left ankle against Kentucky on Thursday, is progressing in her recovery, but whether or not she will play against the Lady Vols is unclear.

UPDATE (Feb. 24): Cooper will not be back for the game today versus Tennessee.

February 27, 2019Te’a Cooper will not play in the Gamecocks’ game versus Auburn on Feb. 28.

South Carolina’s leading scorer, junior guard Te’a Cooper, will not play as she recovers from a sprained ankle suffered against Kentucky last Thursday. She is progressing well in her recovery, Staley said.

March 3, 2019Te’a Cooper was back in the starting lineup for the Gamecocks’ game versus Mississippi State today.

March 22, 2019: Two players were suspended for the the team’s NCAA opening victory over Belmont: Bianca Cuevas-Moore for the game and Mikiah Herbert Harrigan for the first half.

Afterward, coach Dawn Staley confirmed that she had suspended the pair — Herbert Harrigan for a half, Cuevas-Moore for a game — for an unspecified violation of team rules.

“I decided not to play them for a half and for an entire game,” Staley said.

“Did something happen? Obviously something happened. I’m just not gonna divulge that information,” Staley later said.

March 30, 2019: Junior guard Te’a Cooper, who is eligible to turn pro, says she’ll be back at South Carolina for her senior season.

“Absolutely,” Cooper said when asked if she was coming back. When asked if she had given any thought to going pro, she simply responded, “No.”


South Florida

November 16, 2018: Senior guard Kitija Laksa, an All-American candidate, is out for the season with a knee injury suffered in USF’s victory over Bethune-Cookman yesterday.

USF women’s basketball senior guard Kitija Laksa (Riga, Latvia), a preseason Wooden, Naismith and Drysdale Award candidate, will miss the remainder of the 2018-19 season with a knee injury suffered in the Bulls’ victory Thursday night.

“This is obviously a very difficult blow for Kitija, who is one of the top players in the nation, and our team,” USF head coach Jose Fernandez said. “I know with Kitija’s will and determination, she will get through this and be back on the floor as a top-level player. It is very tough for our team to lose Kitija’s ability and leadership on the floor, but we still have our goals ahead of us and we will continue to work to accomplish those.”

Laksa suffered the injury to her right knee in the third quarter of Thursday’s 88-39 victory over Bethune-Cookman. An MRI performed Friday morning revealed a torn ACL and meniscus.

November 30, 2018: More injury woes have the Bulls down to nine healthy players. In addition to Laska, sophomore forward Silvia Serrat is also out for the season with a torn ACL. Serrat also missed the 2017-18 season with an injury. And freshman point guard Eliza Pinzan is “out four to six weeks with an unspecified injury.” (UPDATE: Pinzan ended up returning to action in USF’s December 20 game versus Creighton.)

Joining All-America candidate Kitija Laksa (torn ACL) and 6-foot-1 forward Silvia Serrat (torn ACL) on the shelf is freshman backup point guard Eliza Pinzan, a five-star recruit from Italy out four to six weeks with an unspecified injury.

“Nobody’s gonna feel sorry for us,” said Coach Jose Fernandez, whose program is seeking its fifth consecutive NCAA Tournament berth. “This program’s not taking a step back because we’ve gone through a little bit of adversity or we’ve got injuries. We’re more than that.”

December 9, 2018: In addition to their injury woes, USF has had two other players transfer. Word of Vanessa Blagmon‘s departure came before the 2018-19 season began, and she has since signed with Old Dominion. And a second transfer just surfaced: Irida “Iris” Tsafara, a 6-0 freshman wing out of Athens, Greece.

USF (7-2) has won three in a row despite losing three players to injury (including All-America candidate Kitija Laksa) and watching two others — wing Vanessa Blagmon and freshman Iris Tsafara — transfer. Of the injured trio, only heralded freshman point guard Elisa Pinzan (unspecified) is expected back this season.

“Every day’s like a surprise,” Fernandez said. “I go, ‘How many healthy bodies we got?’ We’ve got more male scrimmage guys than we have players, but that’s okay. We’ve just got to find different ways.”

December 30, 2018: The Bulls have added a player to their roster midseason: Luize Septe, a freshman wing out of Ventspils, Latvia. She had signed with USF in the offseason but was initially denied admission to the school.

USF women’s basketball has announced the addition of freshman wing Luize Septe out of Ventspils, Latvia, to the roster. The 5-foot-11 freshman is eligible to play and practice immediately.

Septe signed a National Letter of Intent to play for the Bulls in the offseason but was unable to join the Bulls’ roster until December.

January 3, 2019: Freshman center Beatriz Jordao will miss the remainder of the 2018-19 season with an “unspecified leg injury.” Jordao was averaging 11.3 PPG and 5.7 RPG.

Six-foot-3 freshman Beatriz Jordao, the Bulls’ third-leading scorer, has been lost for the year to an unspecified leg injury, the school announced Thursday.

That leaves USF (9-5) with 10 healthy scholarship players for the 18-game American Athletic Conference schedule, which begins Saturday at Temple. Now, the program’s quest for a fifth consecutive NCAA Tournament berth appears in serious peril.

January 9, 2019: Senior wing Laura Ferreira (15.8 PPG) is out with an undisclosed illness and isn’t expected back anytime soon.

But now, after Ferreira sat out against UCF on Tuesday, Fernandez said he didn’t anticipate having her back anytime soon, that Ferreira was dealing with something “much bigger than basketball.”

January 13, 2019: Redshirt junior center Alyssa Rader (7.9 PPG, 7.4 RPG) was out with concussion symptoms for the Bulls’ game versus UConn today, meaning that USF was without four of the five players who started the team’s first game this season.

USF women’s basketball team has struggled with injuries this season, but news broke shortly before the UConn game that redshirt Junior Alyssa Rader was experiencing “concussion symptoms” and would not be able to play against the Huskies.

The Bulls were without Rader, a starter and the team’s main rebounder. Rader has 23 rebounds through the last five games and leads the team with 119 rebounds overall.

With Rader’s injury, only one of the five players who started USF’s first game this season remains healthy — Sydni Harvey, who scored just two points and had two rebounds against UConn.

March 5, 2019: After playing in only three games in 2018-19 before suffering a torn ACL, senior guard Kitija Laksa could return to USF next season, although she’s also contemplating entering the WNBA draft.

Whether Laksa will be around to assist the Bulls’ bracketology in 2019-20 remains uncertain. Following Monday’s defeat, Coach Jose Fernandez indicated Laksa ― an All-America candidate before tearing her ACL in the season’s third game ― hasn’t made a decision regarding her future.

“We’ve had plenty of conversations,” Fernandez said. “You know what, I’m gonna support her whether she comes back or she decides to enter the (WNBA) draft. I want the best for her. We’ve spoken about my opinion with her on what’s best for her.”

Also, senior wing Laura Ferreira‘s previously undisclosed illness was revealed to be a heart issue.

“I’m not playing right now because I had some [heart] palpitations before — while I was playing,” Ferreira said in the video. “The doctor took me out, I did a bunch of tests and, unfortunately, it showed [Ventricular tachycardia]. And the next step is to put a defibrillator on.

“The doctors are positive about me going back on the court.”

March 31, 2019: Senior guard Kitija Laksa has announced that she won’t enter this year’s WNBA draft. But it isn’t clear if she’ll return to USF next season.

“I have decided not to enter this year’s WNBA draft,” Laksa wrote. “I will be focusing on my knee’s rehabilitation and taking it day by day.”


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