Southeast Missouri State women's basketball team signs three players

Friday, November 13, 2015

Coach Rekha Patterson added a pair of high school seniors and a junior college transfer to the Southeast Missouri State women's basketball program during the first two days of the week-long early signing period.

The athletic department announced Thursday afternoon that Iyanna McCurdy, LaShala Saine and Lakyn Gulley all signed National Letters of Intent to play at Southeast.

"I am very pleased to bring Lakyn, Iyanna, and LaShala to Southeast Missouri State," Patterson said in a press release. "I am appreciative that not only do they believe in the vision that we have for the program, but they want to play an integral role in restoring pride in Southeast Missouri women's basketball."

McCurdy is a 5-foot-9 guard from Philadelphia. She averaged 18 points, 7.9 assists and 3.7 steals as a junior at Friends' Central School. As a sophomore she averaged 17 points.

"Iyanna will upgrade our athleticism and defensive ability immediately," Patterson said. "Her long arms and attacking mentality will help with the way we want to play."

LaShala Saine, a 6-4 forward, hails from West Memphis High School in Arkansas. She averaged five blocks and six rebounds last season and four blocks and five rebounds as a sophomore when her team claimed a conference championship and reached the state final four.

She was an all-conference selection both seasons.

"Lashayla's size and athleticism will be something different for our fans," Patterson said. "She is a great athlete with good basketball knowledge and we are excited to help her grow."

Lakyn Gulley transfers to Southeast following two seasons at Owens Community College in Perrysburg, Ohio.

Gulley, a 2014 graduate of South Side High School in Fort Wayne, Indiana, is a 5-7 guard and is averaging 13.6 points through Owens' first five games this season. She's shooting 43.1 percent from the field and 36.4 percent from 3-point range.

She signed with Cal State Fullerton out of high school and played in nine games before leaving at semester to move closer to home for school.

"Lakyn will bring valuable college experience to our program," Patterson said. "She is a talented shooter and passer, with a good feel for the game."

Vandeven, McCullough named to watch lists

Southeast Missouri State quarterback Dante Vandeven is one of three Ohio Valley Conference football players who were named to the College Football Performance Awards FCS National Freshman Performer of the Year watch list.

Eastern Kentucky running back Ethan Thomas and Tennessee State quarterback O'Shay Ackerman-Carter also were added to the watch list, which is made up of 32 players in the Football Championship Subdivision.

Vandeven is one of 12 QBs on the list.

The Jackson native, who has started for the Redhawks for the last six games, has completed 65.3 percent of his passes for 1,103 yards and eight touchdowns. He's rushed for 232 yards and a team-best five touchdowns on 63 carries.

Junior running back Tremane McCullough is on the CFPA FCS All-Purpose Performer of the Year watch list.

McCullough is one of five OVC players on the list. Eastern Illinois running back Devin Church, Jacksonville State running back Troymaine Pope, Tennessee State wide Receiver Patrick Smith and Tennessee Tech running back Ladarius Vanlier also made the list, which consists of 20 RBs and 12 WRs.

McCullough, who transferred from Arizona Western Community College, leads the OVC in rushing with 878 yards and three touchdowns on 137 carries. He's caught 24 passes for 126 yards. He also has 152 yards on kick return.

Southeast sophomore cornerback Mike Ford was named to the CFPA FCS Defensive Awards Watch List last week. He is fifth on the team with 37 tackles and leads the Redhawks with four interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown. He has recorded one sack and four pass breakups.

The award winners will be announced January 13, 2016.

Volleyball signs Mehlville standout

An outside hitter from St. Louis signed Thursday to play for the Redhawks.

Mikayla Kuhlmann wrapped up her four-year Mehlville High School career this fall. She had 243 kills, 398 digs and 25 blocks during her senior campaign. She recorded 185 kills, 348 digs and 40 aces as a junior.

She's a three-time all-conference performance and was named to the all-district team all four seasons.

"Mikayla is a talented six-rotation outside hitter who will add a lot of depth at that position," coach Julie Yankus said. "She is a very consistent passer and aggressive hitter."

Gymnastics signs two prep performers

Southeast signed two incoming freshmen, coach Kristi Ewasko announced Thursday.

Megan Dennis of Lewisville (Texas) High School and Courteney Taylor of Fishers (Indiana) High School inked with the Redhawks during the early signing period.

Dennis placed sixth on the bars and 13th in the all-around at the Junior Olympic National Invitational Tournament during her junior year.

"Megan joins our program with a fire and passion to improve every single day, both in and out of the gym," said Ewasko in a press release. "Her coaches have worked with her on upgrades on bars and beam that will battle with the best of our team."

Taylor competes with the Jayce Phelps Athletic Center and finished fourth in floor and top 20 in the all-around at the Junior Olympic National Championship her junior year.

"Courteney's level of gymnastics made her one of our top recruits for the class of 2016," Ewasko said. "She comes from a highly successful gym where she is coached by former Olympian, Jayce Phelps, and her husband, Dave Marus."

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