MONTGOMERY, Ala. ---- Auburn University at Montgomery women's basketball coach Dan Davis has announced the addition of five new players for the 2012-13 season.
The group includes four guards: Amber Bennett (Fairfield, Ala./Shelton State CC), Psachal Maize (Mobile, Ala./Shelton State CC), Katie Williams (Smyrna, Tenn./Snead State CC) and Ashley Rush (Pensacola, Fla./Gulf Coast CC). Forward Chelsea Haggermaker (Athens, Ala./Southern Union State CC) will also be joining the Warhawks.
"We are very excited about our incoming class," Davis said. "These ladies know what it takes to win and have experience winning championships."
"By signing four guards, we added to an area we needed to improve for the upcoming season to compete at the top of the conference," he added. "This is a group with a lot of athleticism to go along with playmaking abilities and 3-point shooting."
Bennett and Maize were both members of 2012 Alabama Community College Conference Champion Shelton State. The Lady Buccaneers finished the year 33-4 and placed sixth at the National Tournament.
Bennett averaged 5.5 points and 2.4 rebounds per game during her two years at Shelton. She also added 1.6 steals per game. In her sophomore season, Bennett improved her shooting by over 10 percentage points, finishing at 43.5 percent for the year. She scored a season-high 17 points against Wallace State on Jan. 26. Prior to junior college, Bennett helped lead Fairfield High School to a Class 5A state title. The team was coached by Tiffany Frederick, who played for AUM from 2002-04.
Maize averaged 6.7 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game for Shelton. In her sophomore season, she shot 34.0 percent from 3-point range. She finished in double-figures six times last year, including a season-high 16 points against Wallace State on Feb. 20. Before joining the Lady Bucs, Maize attended Blount High School in Prichard, Ala. She averaged 18.8 points per game in her senior season for the Leopards.
Williams spent her last two seasons at Snead State in Boaz, Ala. She was a consistent 3-point shooter throughout her time with the Parsons, shooting over 40 percent for her career. Williams also made 76.9 percent of her free throws, including an 84 percent average in her sophomore season. Overall, she averaged 9.6 points and 3.5 rebounds per game. She scored over 20 points on three separate occasions as a sophomore, helping Snead to a 15-10 record.
Rush was named Second-Team All-Panhandle Conference as a sophomore at Gulf Coast CC in 2010-11, averaging 5.8 points and 3.9 assists per game. As a freshman, Rush appeared in 28 games as the Commodores finished 32-1 and won the NJCAA National Championship. She was also part of a district and regional championship winning team during her senior year at Pine Forest High School in Pensacola, Fla. Rush was named First-Team All-Conference as a senior at PFHS.
"Katie and Psachal's natural spots are at the wings," Davis said. "But both have the playmaking ability to play the point if we needed them to. Ashley is a point guard, but is also able to play the off-guard position, while Amber is a wing player and will be one of our most athletic players."
At 6-1, Haggermaker is the lone post player in the signing class for the Warhawks. She played one season at Southern Union, finishing third on the team with 7.7 points per game and shooting over 35 percent from 3-point range. She added 4.4 rebounds per game and finished second on the team with 27 steals. Haggermaker attended high school at Clements High School in Athens, Ala. During her junior season, the Colts were Class 2A state champions and Haggermaker was named to the all-tournament team after contributing 13 points and nine rebounds in the title game.
"Chelsea will be a good addition to go along with our returning post players," Davis said. "She will need to develop her low post game to go with her outside shooting."
The five newcomers will join seven returning players as the Warhawks look to build on last year's 14-16 record and return to the NAIA tournament for the first time since 2008-09.