SLU adds five for 2020-21 women’s basketball roster

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HAMMOND, La. – Five student-athletes have made the decision to continue their academic and athletic endeavors as members of the Southeastern Louisiana women’s basketball program, SLU head coach Ayla Guzzardo announced on Thursday.

The five newcomers all come to Hammond with two years of eligibility remaining. The quintet includes three backcourt additions in Chrissy Brown (5-9/Guard/Lafayette, Louisiana/Neosha CC/Carencro HS), Cierria Cunningham (5-7/Guard/Tuscaloosa, Alabama/Shelton State CC/Hillcrest HS) and Bryana Langford (5-9/Guard/Baton Rouge, Louisiana/Jones College/Zachary HS).

Fortifying the post will be additions Kacey Bradford (6-2/Forward/Jackson, Mississippi/Jones College/Murrah HS) and Natalie Kelly (6-3/Forward/Albany, La./Auburn/Albany HS).

Southeastern went into the signing period needing to replace five seniors from the 2019-20 roster that ended the program’s eight-year postseason drought. Guzzardo and her staff knew that finding experienced players to help fill that void was vital to continuing SLU’s positive momentum.

“This is by far the most experienced signing class we have brought in,” Guzzardo commented. “With four players coming from the junior college ranks and an SEC transfer, we expect this group to make an immediate impact in the upcoming season.”

Southeastern will open the 2020-21 season in early November.

2020-21 Southeastern Louisiana Women’s Basketball Signing Class
Kacey Bradford – 6-2 – F – Jackson, Miss. – Jones College/Murrah HS
Chrissy Brown – 5-9 – G – Lafayette, La. – Neosha CC/Carencro HS
Cierria Cunningham – 5-7 – G – Tuscaloosa, Ala. – Shelton State CC/Hillcrest HS
Natalie Kelly – 6-3 – F – Albany, La. – Auburn/Albany HS
Bryana Langford – 5-9 – G – Baton Rouge, La. – Jones College/Zachary HS

Kacey Bradford – 6-2 – F – Jackson, Miss. – Jones College/Murrah HS
Saw action in 38 games in her two seasons at Jones College … Displayed efficient offensive production during two seasons with Bobcats, shooting 52 percent from the field … Averaged 11.7 points and 5.6 rebounds per game her senior year at Murrah High School, helping team to state runner-up finish … Was part of MHS state championship squad as a sophomore.
Southeastern Louisiana Head Coach Ayla Guzzardo on Bradford: “Kacey is a proven winner and a dominant force in the paint. Her low post presence will expand our game and we expect her to be a weapon as a finisher in transition.”

Chrissy Brown – 5-9 – G – Lafayette, La. – Neosho CC/Carencro HS
Earned first team All-KJCCC honors after averaging 16.8 points, 9.8 points and 5.1 assists per game, leading Neosho Community College in all three categories … Averaged 11.3 points per game as a freshman … Two-time All-State performer at Carencro High School.
Guzzardo on Brown: “Chrissy is going to shine right away. She’s a two-way player who can score in multiple ways and is a lockdown defender. Her mental toughness really stood out during the recruiting process and that characteristic itself will make her a valued addition to our program.”

Cierria Cunningham – 5-7 – G – Tuscaloosa, Ala. – Shelton State CC/Hillcrest HS
Helped Shelton State Community College to consecutive Alabama Community College Conference championships during her two seasons … Shares the same junior college as head coach Ayla Guzzardo, who started her collegiate playing career with the Bucs … Averaged 9.9 points and 4.1 assists per game as a sophomore, helping team to 29-2 record … Was team’s leading scorer off the bench as a freshman … Multi-time all-state performer at Hillcrest High School.
Guzzardo on Cunningham: “It was fun for me to recruit CiCi, because she played at my old school. Her basketball IQ as a point guard stands out, as does her ability to score at all three levels.”

Natalie Kelly – 6-3 – F – Albany, La. – Auburn/Albany HS
Played in 28 games in two seasons at Auburn … Ranked the No. 38 post player in the nation by ESPN HoopGurlz out of Albany High School … Multi-time all-state, all-metro, all-district and all-parish performer for the Lady Hornets … Helped team to state championship game as a junior and semifinal appearance as a senior … Averaged 17.1 points, 12.2 rebounds and 3.3 steals as a senior … Set AHS single-season school record with 379 rebounds as a junior … Both father, Jerry (1980-83) and mother, Dandra (1980-81) played basketball at SLU.
Guzzardo on Kelly: “Natalie’s ability to take posts off the dribble and her length make her a mismatch problem. We’re excited to welcome her back home to wear the Green and Gold.”

Bryana Langford – 5-9 – G – Baton Rouge, La. – Jones College/Zachary HS
Spent sophomore season at Jones College … Opened her collegiate career at New Mexico Junior College, helping the Thunderbirds to a national runner-up finish … Earned district MVP honors and All-Metro accolades at Zachary High School … Member of the 1,000 career point club at ZHS.
Guzzardo on Langford: “We’ve been recruiting Bryana since she was in high school, so we’re glad to finally add her to our program. Her athleticism will be a positive impact on our backcourt on both ends of the floor.”

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