LU women signs five for 2014-15 season

Four junior college transfers and one high-school senior have signed National Letters of Intent to continue their careers with the Lincoln women’s basketball team for the 2014-15 academic year.

Blue Tigers’ head coach Nicole Collier announced the signings on Thursday.

Dorian Briggs, Kayton Cole, Zuri Hill and Kaya Johnson will each enter as juniors with two years of eligibility remaining, while Jordan Matthews comes in as a Freshman.

Briggs spent two seasons at Crowder Community College in Neosho, where she averaged 17.5 points and 3.8 rebounds during her sophomore campaign, while garnishing First-Team All-Region accolades.

During Briggs’ freshman season, Crowder finished with a 29-6 record and made an appearance in the Sweet 16. That season, the Fort Smith, Ark. native averaged seven points and three rebounds.

As a senior at Fort Smith Southside, she averaged 11.1 points per game.

“Dorian brings a multitude of positive characteristics for our program; maturity, passion, high basketball IQ, and a scorers mentality,” Collier said in a statement. “We are excited to watch her represent our institution.”

Cole averaged 13.3 points per game during her freshman and sophomore seasons at Danville Area Community College. In both seasons, she was an All-American nominee, along with being a First-Team All-Region and All-Conference selection.

During her freshman year, she was selected as the Conference Player of the Year and went on to break six different school records; including assists in a game (13), assists in a season (5.0 per game), steals in a game (eight) and steals in a season (2.8).

Cole was a standout high-school player at New Albany (Ind.), averaging 19.3 points and 4.1 steals as a senior.

“Kayton brings a high basketball IQ as well as versatility at the guard position,” Collier said. “She helped turn the program around at Danville, and we are looking for her to bring the same focus and determination to LU.”

Hill, a 5-11 forward, helped lead St. Louis Community College to a 17-8 record and a second-place finish at the National Junior College Athletic Association’s Region XVI tournament. During that run, Hill scored 11 points per game and pulled down 9.3 rebounds.

Hill was also a strong contributor for her high school team, averaging 5.9 points and 6.8 rebounds during her senior season at Boone County in Florence, Ky.

“Zuri is undersized in the paint, but refused to be outworked,” Collier said. “She plays physical and takes pride in rebounding on both ends of the floor and we are excited to add her aggressiveness to our style of play.”

Johnson, a 5-9 guard, is coming of a sophomore season at Eastern Oklahoma State College, where she led the NJCAA Region II with 14.4 rebounds per night. A third-team all-conference selection, Johnson led Eastern to a 26-6 record while averaging 11.5 points per game.

As a senior at Castlemont High School in Oakland, Calif., Johnson averaged 14.5 points, 9.1 rebounds and 3.3 steals.

“Kaya is a physical guard that can do a lot of things,” Collier said. “The feature that drew me to her is her ability to rebound the basketball and her versatility from the perimeter. We envision her being a great player in a our program.”

Matthews was the starting point guard for a Hickman team that finished the 2013-14 campaign with a No. 4 state ranking. A Class 5 All-District selection, Mathews led the Kewpies to a 24-2 record, with both loses coming to eventual state champion Rock Bridge.

“Jordan comes from a well-coached high-school program that has been successful at the state level,” Collier said. “She also has a deep family history in the basketball world with both her mom and grandpa officiating. We are excited about Jordan’s basketball IQ and her effectiveness in distributing the ball in transition. We are looking forward to Jordan becoming a great point board in our program.”

Lincoln went 5-21 overall and 2-17 in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association last season.

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