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Published: Thursday, 4/20/2006

Rockets get talent boost from junior college players

Knowing his team needs an infusion of talent that is capable of playing immediately, University of Toledo women's basketball coach Mark Ehlen said yesterday that he has signed two junior college players to letters of intent.

Erika Gaddies, a 5-foot-5 point guard from Daytona Beach (Fla.) Community College, and Tamesha Scotten, a 5-10 forward-post player from Lincoln Trail College in Robinson, Ill., will join the Rockets next season.

Both earned first team all-conference honors this past winter and will have two years of eligibility at UT.

"We needed to improve our overall athleticism and both of these players are tremendous athletes," Ehlen said.

Gaddies averaged 17.7 points and seven assists per game this past season while shooting 35 per cent from 3-point range. She was a prep star at George Washington Carver High School in New Orleans, but her family relocated to Houston after Hurricane Katrina.

"We badly needed a point guard with experience and Erika comes from one of the best JUCO conferences in the country," Ehlen said.

Scotten played at Carroll High School near Fort Wayne, Ind., before spending two years at Lincoln Trail, part of the Illinois Eastern Community Colleges system. She averaged 14.4 points and 9.9 rebounds last season.

"She's an undersized post player who rebounds like crazy and is athletic enough to defend any position on the floor," Ehlen said.

UT, until recently a perennial Mid-American Conference power, is coming off a third straight sub-.500 season.

"These signings immediately make us better," said Ehlen, who added that he hopes to sign one more player in the next couple weeks.

- Dave Hackenberg

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