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April 30, 2007

Plese chooses USI to continue hoops career

EVANSVILLE, Ind.The University of Southern Indiana women's basketball team announced that 5'5" junior guard Jessoni Plese (Wilmington, Illinois) has signed to play for Head Coach Rick Stein's Screaming Eagles in 2007-08. Plese is the fourth player this spring and the seventh since the early signing period to sign with USI.

Plese transfers to USI after spending the 2006-07 campaign at Kankakee Community College (Kankakee, Illinois) where she helped guide her squad to a 27-7 record and the finals of the NJCAA Division II Women's Basketball Championship Tournament.

In 2006-07, Plese averaged 11.4 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game en route to earning All-Region and All-National Tournament honors.

Before attending KCC, Plese spent a year at NCAA Division III Augustana College (Rock Island, Illinois) where she averaged 4.3 points per contest in 2005-06.

Prior to college, Plese graduated from Wilmington High School where she earned nine varsity letters in basketball, softball, and volleyball.

"Jess will make a huge impact in our backcourt with her ability to drive, shoot, pass, and defend," Stein said. "She has the toughness, determination, and leadership that you look for in a point guard, as she showed in Kankakee's run to the national championship game."

Plese joins 5'8" junior guard Brittany Darden (Guthrie, Kentucky), 5'9" junior guard Carly Clendenen (Anderson, Indiana), and 6'2"freshman forward/center Leigha Thompson (Teutopolis, Illinois) on Stein's list of spring signings.

USI's early signees include 5'10" freshman guard Lauren Meneghetti (Munster, Indiana), 5'6" freshman guard Amie Newhart (Mulberry, Indiana), and 6'0" freshman forward/center Courtney Perry (Crown Point, Indiana). Both Meneghetti and Newhart were invited to Hoosier Basketball Magazine's 2007 Top 40 Senior Workout.

Dan McDonnell,
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