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Stetson University women’s basketball head coach Lynn Bria proudly announced the signing of five student-athletes to National Letters-of-Intent on Thursday.  The signees are Stacia Allen (Lima, Ohio/Lima Senior HS), Sydni Davis (Southfield, Mich./Southfield-Lathrup HS), Keara Finnerty (Fairfax, Va./W.T. Woodson HS), Amber Porter (Woodbridge, Va./Potomac HS), and Brianti Saunders (Hilliard, Fla./Hilliard Middle-Senior HS).

“I really like the class, I think they are very talented,” Bria said.  “We have a post player that’s going to be really good, and some very dynamic guards.  All of them are going to have great careers here and are going to be very, very good for us.”

Allen, a 5-6 shooting guard, averaged 14.9 points and 5.7 rebounds as a junior for the Lima Central Catholic High School in 2011-12.  She twice earned all-conference and all-district honors, including first team all-Northwest Conference accolades in 2011.  She helped lead the Spartans to two district and sectional titles.

“Stacia is a really good wing player,” Bria said.  “She can shoot the three, she can take you off the bounce, and she is just a solid, strong guard.  She’s not real big but she plays big.  She comes from the state of Ohio, where there is some great competition.”

Davis, a 5-2 point guard, averaged 19.4 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 4.5 steals for West Bloomfield High School.  She is a four-time all-county selection and helped lead the Lakers to their first district title in nine years.  She was also named to the All-Oakland County Defensive Dream Team. 

During her freshman year, Davis scored 42 points in a game against North Farmington.  She is currently ranked as one of the top 10 players in the state of Michigan, and she is playing her senior season with Southfield-Lathrup HS.

“Sydni is an outstanding point guard,” Bria said.  “She is so fast, and she is one of the best passers I have seen as far as playing the point spot.  She is exceptionally quick and just finds her teammates.  She can shoot the three, but she is mainly a distributor and just an ultimate playmaker.”

Finnerty, a 5-9 guard, was a first-team all-district and all-region performer at W.T. Woodson High School in 2011-12.  She twice earned all-Northern Region Leading Scorer and Three Point Scorer honors, and received honorable mention all-Met accolades from the Washington Post. 

A sharp-shooter from behind the arc, Finnerty averaged 21.8 points as a junior and 19.5 points as a sophomore, and has already topped the 1000-point mark for her career.  She has twice been the top three-point scorer in the DC-metro area, averaging 3.9 three-pointers per game as a sophomore and 3.8 three-pointers as a junior.

“Keara has deep, deep ball range,” Bria said.  “She can be way off the arc and still hit the three if you leave her open.  I think she brings something different to our team as far as adding that dimension for us.  But she also knows the game and thinks the game well.”

Porter, a 6-3 post player, averaged 16.6 points, 8.4 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game as a junior at Potomac High School.  She was named first team all-district and first team all-region and helped lead the Panthers to a 25-3 overall record and the Group AAA state quarterfinals.  Potomac also went a perfect 12-0 in district play.

“Amber has a great touch, and she runs the floor well,” Bria said.  “She is a true post player, but she’s got a range of about 15 feet, so she can step out and shoot a little bit.  One of her best attributes is that is she is so long, and she is just a great shot blocker, and she is going to do a lot of good things for us defensively.  Amber is an offensive and a defensive threat, and she is going to have a great career here, no question.”

Saunders, a 5-4 point guard, is a three-time Nassau County MVP for Hilliard Middle-Senior High School.  As a junior she averaged 19.9 points, 6.1 rebounds, 5.7 steals and 4.6 assists to help lead the Red Flashes to a 24-3 record and the Final Four of the FHSAA Class 1A State tournament.  She was also named second team all-area and a runner-up for the 1A Player of the Year honor.

“Brianti is the ultimate combo guard,” Bria said.  “She can play the one, or she can slide the two.  She might be one of the hardest working players I have seen.  She can shoot the three or she can score off the bounce.  She is just a very well-rounded guard.

“Briante and Sydni both can get up on the ball and guard very well.  They can contain the ball without needing any help.  That’s going to be real good for us to have two players like that.”

Allen, Davis, Finnerty, Porter, and Saunders will join the Hatters for the 2013-14 season.

“It’s an important class because we lose so many players this year, so we knew we had to sign quite a few freshmen,” Bria said. “We are not sure the class is done, we are hoping to sign one more late as well.”

Stetson hosts Florida A&M in its home opener at 7 p.m. Friday night.


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