Women’s recruits ranked 18th in nation

With three seniors, five juniors and no freshman, the GW women’s basketball team’s biggest asset is not its youth. But all that may change next season with the addition of five new recruits including power forward Corrine Turner.

Next year’s freshmen, ranked No. 18 in the nation by Blue Star Basketball, will fill the spots left vacant when senior point guard Lindsey Davidson and forward Erica Lawrence graduate.

“We answered our needs,” McKeown said of his top recruits.

Leading the class of 2007 is Corrine Turner, a 6-foot-2 forward from the No. 1 women’s basketball high school in the country, Christ The King Academy in Flushing, N.Y. Averaging 11 points and eight rebounds a game as a junior last season, Turner has already racked up a number of awards and accomplishments at a high school that turned out prominent women’s basketball stars Chamique Holdsclaw and Sue Bird.

As a junior, Turner was named to the Newsday & Daily News First Team All Queens Team and News Day First Team All-City and has been a Parade and Street and Smith’s All-America honorable mention.

McKeown described Turner as “one of the most athletic kids we’ve signed in a long time” and said she will help the team with her ability to play a number of positions.

Heavily recruited, the forward overlooked Boston College and University of Miami for GW.

Turner will not be alone on her new team, as she will be joined by her high school teammate Amanda LoCascio.

McKeown said he did not recruit the two players together but knows their experience playing together will be an added benefit for his squad.

“To have two players of that stature is great. Coming from that level of competition helps them prepare to step in and play college basketball right away,” he said.

LoCascio, a 5-foot-8 point guard, averaged 10 points, eight assists and 2.5 steals a game in her junior year, ranking her 68th among this year’s seniors. The guard was also named to the Newsday and Daily News First Team, All Brooklyn Queens Team and Newsday First Team All City and was both a Parade and Street and Smith’s All American honorable mention.

Kristinia Gineitis, a 6-foot-3 center/forward from Chadds Ford, Pa., will back up center Ugo Oha in the Colonials’ low post game next season, but will also bolster the backcourt with her sweet shooting touch.

“She can shoot three pointers and understands the game very well,” McKeown said. “She brings a lot to the table.”

Gineitis, who also ranks as one of the top 100 high school seniors, averaged nine points and eight rebounds a game for her eighth-ranked high school, Cardinal O’Hara.

McKeown filled his last two spots with a pair of local prospects, 5-foot-11 forward Whitney Allen from Woodbridge, Va. and 5-foot-10 Kenan Cole, a guard/forward from Frederick, Md.

“Whitney Allen is probably the best leaper and quickest player we’ve signed in a long time. She has great athletic ability and she just wants to win,” McKeown said. “Kenan Cole is a tremendous student – she’s a smart, hard nosed player.”

The five new freshmen will add an influx of youth to the Colonials’ program and help the team develop for the future, McKeown said. But the rookies will not be without strong leadership, as juniors Ugo Oha and Cathy Joens will return as senior starters.

“They were both first team all conference last year as sophomores and they understand what it takes to win at a national level,” McKeown said.

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