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Northwest Bearcats

Press Release

July 23, 2008

Steinmeyer Adds Six to 2008 Recruiting Class

MARYVILLE - Northwest Missouri State Head Women's Basketball Coach Gene Steinmeyer and his staff have announced the addition of six student-athletes for the 2008-09 season: Sara Best, Kate Dekker, Abby Henry, Vanessa Hutson, Miranda Maberry and Rickeya McElroy.

The six student-athletes will join three other recruits in Melanie Barnes, Shelly Martin and Tara Roach, who all signed in the early signing period in 2007. All nine will join a team that advanced to its second straight NCAA Tournament appearance and won the 2008 MIAA Postseason Tournament.

• SARA BEST (Brayton, Iowa)
Best will transfer from Upper Iowa and enter graduate school at Northwest for her final year of eligibility. She averaged 28 minutes and led the Peacocks in free-throw shooting last season. A graduate of Audubon High School, she earned second-team all-state and first-team all-district and all-conference honors.

"Sara is a quick, aggressive guard who can play both the wing and the point guard," said Steinmeyer. "Her experience and basketball knowledge will help our young basketball team."

• KATE DEKKER (Centerville, Iowa)
A guard, Dekker averaged 21.5 points and 6.1 rebounds in 2007-08. She was a first-team all-district selection, team MVP and a member of the third-team all-state team for Class 3A as a junior.

"Kate is a great offensive threat, both from the perimeter and off the dribble," said Steinmeyer. "She had a great senior season after signing early with Upper Iowa. We are lucky she looked at us after she decided not to attend Upper Iowa."

• ABBY HENRY (Omaha, Neb.)
Henry spent 2007-08 as a medical redshirt at Creighton (Neb.) University, after an record-setting career at Bellevue West High School. She holds state records in steals and free-throw percentage, going 302-of-379, and earned second-team all-state honors.

"Abby is a great addition to our team," said Steinmeyer. "She is an excellent point guard and also can play a shooting guard. Abby was a great high school player, but had a serious knee injury before she could compete for Creighton."

• VANESSA HUTSON (Murray, Utah)
A transfer from Brigham Young, Hutson led the Cougars in three-point shooting (.436) as a freshman and was named a Mountain West Conference Scholar-Athlete. She led two state championship teams at Brighton High School and was the Class 5A Most Valuable Player three times. Hutson was a Nike All-American candidate, Street and Smith Honorable Mention All-American, End of the Oregon Trail AAU Tournament MVP and was the state of Utah's Miss Basketball. She also holds high school weightlighting records for basketball players.

"Vanessa was a great high school player and had a very productive year as a freshman at BYU," said Steinmeyer. "She is very strong, has great ball handling skills and is an excellent defender. Vanessa will add another aspect of experience and court intelligence to our team."

Maberry participated in the 2008 Lions All-Star game and was a school finalist for the Wendy's High School Heisman Award at Lamar High School. She averaged 9.2 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 2007-08.

"Miranda impressed us in our summer camps," said Steinmeyer. "She is very versatile and has a lot of basketball smarts. She could really surpise a lot of people in college."

• RICKEYA (ra-KEY-ah) McELROY (Columbus, Ohio)
A transfer from Southeastern Illinois College, McElroy was an all-state and first-team all-district player in her senior season at Columbus Africentric High School. She was the Division 4 Player of the Year.

"Rickeya has tremendous talent to help us fill a huge void at post," said Steinmeyer. "Rickeya may be a little rusty at first, but I am looking forward to the three years Rickeya will spend at Northwest. She will team with Gentry Dietz, a transfer from Southern Illinois, at the post position."

For more information, please contact:

Media Relations Department, Northwest Athletics | 660.562.1118 | Fax: 660.562.1582

Northwest Athletics
Lamkin Activity Center | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468