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May 18, 2009

Eagles add five more to 2009-10 mix

EVANSVILLE, Ind.—The University of Southern Indiana women's basketball team announced that 6'0" senior forward Anaris Sickles (Harrodsburg, Kentucky), 5'10" junior guard Stephanie Gelhausen (Newburgh, Indiana), 5'10" freshman forward Chantiera Johnson (St. Louis, Missouri), 5'10" freshman guard Lauren Mitchell (Mulkeytown, Illinois), and 5'11" freshman guard Ladi Stallard (Olney, Illinois) will play for Head Coach Rick Stein's Screaming Eagles in 2009-10.

Sickles makes the move across town after averaging 4.2 points and 3.0 rebounds in 86 games for the University of Evansville. Sickles appeared in 22 games as a junior last year, helping the Purple Aces to the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament title and a berth in the NCAA Division I Tournament.

The Lexington Catholic High School graduate recorded one of the best games of her career at UE when she matched a career-high with 14 points to go along with nine rebounds against Drake University in the semifinals of the 2008 MVC Tournament.

Gelhausen spent the last three years as a member of the University of Alabama in Huntsville women's basketball program. Gelhausen, who sat out most of the 2007-08 campaign due to injury, bounced back last season to average a career-high 5.7 points and 5.7 rebounds per game.

The Castle High School (Newburgh) graduate posted career-highs for points (18), rebounds (12), and assists (11) last season. She will have two years of eligibility for the Eagles after receiving a medical-redshirt for the 2007-08 campaign.

Johnson begins her collegiate days after a stellar career at Hazelwood Central High School (Florissant, Missouri). She was the school's most valuable player and a two-time first-team All-Conference selection.

An All-State performer as a senior, Johnson led Hazlewood to a third-place finish in the 2009 MHSAA Class 5 State Tournament. She also helped HCHS to a conference, district, and sectional title during her senior year, averaging more than 11 points, 3.5 rebounds, two assists, and two steals per contest.

Mitchell comes to USI from Christopher High School (Christopher, Illinois) where she competed in volleyball, basketball, and track. A four-time All-Conference selection at CHS, Mitchell was a three-time All-State performer and was a two-time conference most valuable player.

In 2008-09, Mitchell averaged 24.5 points, 11.5 rebounds, and 6.5 assists per game. She finished her career has CHS's all-time leader scorer with more than 2,200 points.

Stallard starts her collegiate career after leading Olney East Richland High School (Olney, Illinois) to a fourth-place finish in the IHSA Class 2A Tournament as a senior this past season. Stallard averaged 9.0 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game as OERHS finished the 2008-09 campaign with a 28-9 record.

"I am excited to have these young ladies join our team and our family here at USI," Stein said. "I think we have great balance in this recruiting class and have filled some needs for the upcoming season and the future."

Sickles, Gelhausen, Johnson, Mitchell, and Stallard join 6'1" junior forward/centers Stephanie McSparin (Marion, Illinois) and Ashton Mertens (Morton, Illinois) as well as 5'11" freshman forward Simone Swary (Ft. Wayne, Indiana)—who signed national letters of intent during the early signing period—on USI's list of newcomers for the 2009-10. USI also has eight players returning from its 2008-09 roster.

Dan McDonnell,
USI Sports Information

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