November 17, 2010

CSUN Women's Hoops Signs Five for 2011

Nov. 17, 2010

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - The Cal State Northridge women's basketball program announced the signing of three high school players to National Letters of Intent, according to Matador head coach Jason Flowers. The three prep players, along with two Division-I transfers, will suit up for CSUN beginning in the 2011-12 season.

As a group, Jessica Duarte, Camille Mahlknecht and Janae Sharpe all bring extensive and successful prep careers to the Matadors. Joining the three will be a pair of transfers, Kaitlyn Petersen and Briahana Richardson, who bring Division I experience to the Matadors. Each will have three years of eligibility left.

"We're excited about all the student-athletes in this class," Flowers said. "Their addition helps us lay the groundwork to not only build a successful basketball team, but a program that is active in its community and on campus."

Sharpe, a 5-7 guard who prepped at Rialto High School, is a four-star recruit and the 29th-ranked guard in the class of 2011 according to ESPN's HoopGurlz.com. Additionally, Blue Star Basketball lists her as the 74th-best player in the class of 2011. With the Knights she averaged 25.5 points and 8.3 rebounds per game as a sophomore, and as a junior, she set a new school record for career points. Sharpe was also the Citrus Belt League's MVP and a First Team selection following her junior season.

Duarte arrives at CSUN after having won a national championship with perennial power Mater Dei High School in Orange County, Calif. A 5-11 guard/forward, Duarte scored 29 points in last year's regional semifinal victory over Hanford. She also scored 23 points in the Monarchs' defeat of then-No. 1 St. Mary's High School (Stockton, Calif.) at the Nike Tournament of Champions in 2009. She earned All-Trinity League First Team honors following the 2009-10 season.

Mahlknecht arrives at CSUN after a successful run at Agoura High School. With the Chargers, the 6-2 forward averaged 8.5 points, 7.7 rebounds and 5.5 blocks per game during the 2009-10 season. She earned All-Marmonte League Second Team honors following the 2009-10 season. Over the past two seasons, Mahlknecht has helped lead Agoura to a 25-3 Marmonte League record.

"All three of these young women have experience at a high level of competition and know what it takes to be successful," Flowers added.

Petersen spent her freshman season (2009-10) at Gonzaga University, where she appeared in 18 games. After leaving the Bulldogs, she will spend a year in junior college before joining the Matadors with sophomore eligibility. She prepped at Mission Viejo High School where she was a four-year letterwinner who averaged 36.0 points, 6.0 rebounds. 5.0 assists and 4.0 steals during her senior season. She was a four-time All-South Coast Conference First Team selection and was the league's Player of the Year following her junior and senior seasons. ESPN's HoopGurlz.com designated her the 38th best guard in the class of 2010.

Richardson also brings Division I experience to the Matadors, spending the 2009-10 season at league rival UC Santa Barbara where she appeared in 13 games for the Gauchos. Richardson prepped at Pacific Hills High School in Los Angeles where she was a four-year letterwinner. She helped lead the Bruins to the 2006 CIF Championship, the 2007 CIF title game and consecutive regional title. During her senior season, she averaged 16 points, 11 assists, four rebounds, three blocks and six steals per game. For that performance, she was the Olympic Player of the Year in 2009.

"I think Briahana and Kaitlyn will help our team next year and beyond because they understand what it takes to compete at the Division I level," Flowers said.

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