AMERICUS -- Georgia Southwestern head women's basketball coach Kelly Britsky announced the team's eight-member signing class for the 2010-11 academic year Tuesday as two former Southwest Georgia stars will become Lady Hurricanes this season.
"We are extremely excited about the strength of this recruiting class," Britsky said. "They bring a lot of power and definitely extra scoring ability to the team."
The newcomers are NCAA Division I transfers Tania Walters (Marshall University) and Cierra Duhart (Jacksonville State); Alabama Southern Community College transfer Jarra Arnold of Camilla; Tallahassee Community College transfer Samantha Smith; Walters State Community College (Tenn.) transfer Shakira White; Tattnall Square Academy's LaConna Campbell; Marion County's Keyanna Hicks and Fitzgerald High's Keyanna Mitchell.
"The transfers bring a lot of collegiate experience, and we think the freshmen will contribute pretty quickly," Britsky said. "Overall, we are just extremely excited.
"We have high hopes for the season. We lost some really big scorers and some very important people off of last year's team, but I think we did a good job of bringing in new talent to fill those holes."
Arnold, a 5-foot-9, junior guard/forward, averaged 14 points and six rebounds per game before falling to a season-ending injury in the 2009-10 campaign for the Lady Eagles. She scored a season-high 20 points against Pensacola Junior College on Nov. 10 and grabbed a season-best nine rebounds on two occasions.
Mitchell, a 5-9, freshman small forward, averaged 20.5 points, 12 rebounds, four assists and five steals per game for the Lady Purple Hurricanes. Mitchell was named the team MVP and received the Coach's Award.
The Lady Hurricanes are coming off a 12-16 campaign, a dramatic improvement from the 1-26 overall record posted just three years ago. GSW won seven conference games last year, up three wins from 2008-09 and the most in a season in four years of NCAA Division II competition. In addition, GSW made its first postseason appearance in women's basketball, eventually falling in the Peach Belt Conference Tournament to Georgia College, the West Division's No. 1 seed, by a point in overtime (60-59).
GSW opens the 2010-11 season at Albany State on Nov. 16.