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USU basketball: Shaquita Smith signs with the USU women’s basketball team

Utah State head women’s basketball coach Jerry Finkbeiner announced the signing of one more player to the 2013-14 class, it was announced Monday. Junior guard Shaquita Smith will be joining the Aggie squad next season.

Smith, a 5-foot-7 junior, comes to Utah State from ASA College in Brooklyn, NY. She is a native of Brooklyn, NY, graduating from Amherst High School. Last season, she averaged 11.7 points and 4.6 assists per game. She started 21 of the Lady Avengers’ 27 games, averaging 24.6 minutes per game.

She scored a school-record 30 points in the Lady Avengers’ first-ever NJCAA Division I tournament game as ASA beat Western Nebraska in March. She scored 20 or more points four times last season, including a 23-point performance against Union County College in January.

“Shaquita, or as we like to say ‘Q’, comes to us from New York City and has an extensive background in AAU ball and junior college basketball," Finkbeiner said. "She had really a great national tournament, scoring 30 points in a game. She brings excitement to our fan base that they have never seen before at the point guard spot. She is very quick, handles the ball really well and again she has excitement written all over her.”

Smith played in 26 games as a freshman at Monroe Community College in Rochester, NY. She averaged 11.5 points and 4.2 assists per game.

Utah State signed a trio of freshmen this fall for the 2013-14 season in Shelby Cloninger, a 5-11 guard/forward from Kamiah, Idaho; Lynette Johnson, a 5-9 guard, from Sacramento, Calif.; and Elizabeth Landreth, a 5-10 guard from Meridian, Idaho.

This spring, the Aggies also added two other juniors in addition to Smith in Ingrida Strikas, a 6-0 forward from Riga, Latvia, and Rachel Morris, a 6-4 center from Mesquite, Nev., who will also be added to the roster for next season.

2013-14 Utah State women’s basketball signing class

Shaquita Smith, 5-7, G, Jr., Buffalo, NY (Amherst HS/Monroe CC/ASA College)

Rachel Morris, 6-4, Jr., C, Mesquite, Nev. (Virgin Valley HS/Utah/Salt Lake CC)

Ingrida Strikas 6-0, Jr., F, Riga, Latvia (Riga Secondary No. 47)

Shelby Cloninger, 5-11, Fr., G/F, Kamiah, Idaho (Kamiah HS)*

Lynette Johnson, 5-9, Fr., G, Sacramento, Calif. (John F Kennedy HS)*

Elizabeth Landreth, 5-10, Fr., G, Meridian, Idaho (Capital HS)*

*Signed with Utah State in the fall.

Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.