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Women's Basketball Signs Three To NLIs

Women's Basketball Signs Three To NLIs

ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – The St. Bonaventure University women's basketball team and head coach Jesse Fleming have announced the addition of three student-athletes who have signed National Letters of Intent for the 2021-22 season.

Mackenzie Smith, Tianna Johnson and B'Aunce Carter have announced their intent to join the St. Bonaventure women's basketball program, beginning in the fall 2021 semester.

Smith is a 5-8 point guard that hails from Syracuse, N.Y. and comes to the Bonnies after spending two seasons with Old Dominion. Smith will have three years of eligibility remaining. While at ODU, Smith suffered a torn ACL as a freshman in 2019 and returned last season, appearing in 12 games. Smith handed out 20 assists while turning the ball over just six times in limited action in 2020-21. Before heading to Old Dominion, Smith was a standout player for West Genesee High School, averaging 17.2 points, 5.2 assists, 4.9 rebounds and 3.7 steals per game. Smith was selected as Section III Miss Basketball while earning NYSSW All-State Third Team honors. At St. Bonaventure, Smith plans to major in psychology.

FLEMING ON SMITH: "Mackenzie is a player that's really good with the ball in her hands. She is a pass first player that makes other people around her better and is a point guard with some size. She has a really tough crossover that's tough to guard and ultimately, we think her best basketball is ahead of her."

Johnson comes to the Bonnies from Peoria, Ill. and will have three years of eligibility remaining after transferring from New Mexico Junior College. Due to COVID-19 restrictions in New Mexico, Johnson did not play this season for the Thunderbirds. She is the second player to join the Bonnies from New Mexico JC, joining graduating senior Jurnee President. Johnson last competed for Seward County (Kan.) Community College, averaging 10.8 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game and was named the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference Co-Freshman of the Year. A 5-10 guard, Johnson also earned All-KJCCC First Team honors as a freshman. Prior to Seward CC, Johnson led Richwoods High School to a 35-1 record and won an Illinois State Championship. Johnson plans on majoring in sports psychology at St. Bonaventure.

FLEMING ON JOHNSON: "Tianna is a big guard who can really defend. She was the Kansas Jayhawk Freshman of the Year which is one of the best junior college leagues in the country. She is so versatile that she can play and compete at the one, two or three. She creates for herself and others, she has a good pull up game and can make an open three. We really like what she brings to the table."

Carter is a 5-11 forward from Belleville, Ill. and will have three years of eligibility remaining after spending two seasons at Moberly Area (Ill.) Community College. As a freshman at Moberly, Carter averaged 7.9 points and 4.7 rebounds per game while ranking fifth in the country in field goal percentage, shooting 61.9 percent from the floor. Helping Moberly to the National Tournament this season, Carter ranks eighth in the country with a 59.0 percent shooting percentage and averaged 10.4 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.0 block per contest. At St. Bonaventure, Carter intends on majoring in business.

FLEMING ON CARTER: "B'Aunce had a great freshman year at Moberly and had another great year as a sophomore as they are getting ready to play in the National Tournament. She has long arms, goes to the glass, shoots a high percentage and just adds an element of toughness for the team. She can also be a true four that can create mismatches inside that we are really excited for."

Smith, Johnson and Carter join Taylor Napper, Kacee Baumhower and Lexi Sinclair who signed with the Bonnies during the early signing period in November.

"We did what we wanted to in bringing these six players in for next year," Fleming said of the 2021 recruiting class. "These were kids we really targeted and were able to bring them all in. The six additions to the roster will complement the core returners and everyone is going to make each other better."

The six newcomers join Fleming's roster which features eight returners, including Atlantic 10 All-Conference guard Asianae Johnson. Also returning for the Bonnies is Emily Calabrese, Tori Harris, I'yanna Lops, Morgan Gentile, Maddie Dziezgowski, Kaitlyn Parker and Claire Cody. The Bonnies return nearly 70 percent of their scoring from last season.

For the latest news on St. Bonaventure athletics, stay connected on social media. Follow the Bonnies on Twitter @GoBonnies and get women's basketball updates @BonniesWBB. Keep up with the Bonnies on Facebook /GoBonnies and on Instagram @GoBonnies.