Gopher women's team gets second commitment

Gopher basketball coaches went two-for-two this past weekend in terms of gaining commitments from visiting players. Rico Tucker of San Diego (CA) University committed to Minnesota, giving the men's team their third high school verbal. The women's team got their second commitment when 6-3 center Natasha Williams of Skokie (IL) Niles North announced that she will play for the Gophers next year.

Natasha Williams was one of four players to visit Minnesota this past weekend. 6-2 forward Lauren Lacey of Chicago Heights (IL) Marian Catholic, who has already committed to the Gophers, was joined by Williams, 5-10 shooting guard Allie Quigley of Joliet (IL) Catholic Academy and 5-9 point guard Jillian Ingram from Charlotte (NC) Providence Day School.


Williams, who plays on the same Illinois Hustle AAU team as Lacey, picked Minnesota over Big Ten rivals Iowa and Purdue.


Williams finished the regular season by scoring a career-high 37 points. Niles North was beaten in the regional final game by Regina Dominican as Williams scored 17 points, the only Niles player to hit double-digits. She averaged 15 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks as a junior.


Lacey averaged 18.5 points and 6.3 rebounds last season and shot 65 percent from the floor while leading Marian Catholic to a 29-4 record and the quarterfinals of the Illinois Class AA state championship.


The Gophers signed perhaps the top recruiting class ever last season when they inked 5-9 guard Kelly Roysland of Fosson (MN) High, 6-2 forward-center Jamie Broback from Apple Valley (MN) Eastview and 6-2 forward-center Liz Podominick of Lakeville (MN) High.


They will lose seniors Lindsay Whalen, Leslie Hill and Kadidja Andersson to graduation. The Gophers have two transfers sitting out the season who will be eligible for the 2004-05 season in April Calhoun (Iowa) and Katie Alsdurf (Marquette).


Calhoun was one of three players to start every game for Iowa during its 18-15 season in 2002-2003. She averaged 6.5 points and 3.9 rebounds and led the team in assists with 153. Calhoun is a New Hope native.


Alsdurf was second on Marquette in scoring last year, averaging 11.9 points per game. The Forest Lake product will have two years of eligibility remaining after sitting out the 2003-04 season.

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