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Women's Basketball Adds Three

Jackie Carson
Jackie Carson

Interview With Coach Carson And Cierra Carter, Forward, Spring Valley H.S.,Columbia, S.C.

Interview With Coach Carson And Aurélie Leblanc Florent, Dawson College, Montreal, Quebec

Interview With Coach Carson And Meagan Tucker, Alcovy High School, Covington, G.A.

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Furman women's basketball coach Jackie Carson has announced the addition of three players to the program.

Cierra Carter, a 5-11 forward from Columbia, S.C., and Aurélie Leblanc-Florent, a 5-5 point guard from Longueuil, Quebec, have signed a national letter of intent to play for the Paladins, and Meagan Tucker, a 5-8 point guard, from Covington, Ga., is joining the program after spending the 2013-14 season at Auburn.  She will sit out the 2014-15 season due to NCAA transfer rules and have three years of eligibility remaining.

A two-time 4A region player of the year and first team all-state selection at highly-successful Spring Valley High School, Carter averaged 20.7 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per game as a senior, and also shot 52.0 percent from the field and 76 percent at the free throw line for the Vikings.  She earned MVP honors for South Carolina in the 2014 Carolinas Basketball All-Star Classic.

"We're really excited to welcome an in-state prep star and player of Cierra's caliber to our program," said Carson. "Her versatility as a player makes her a tough opponent both offensively and defensively."

Leblanc-Florent garnered all-star honors after leading her league in 3-pointers made and her squad to a provincial bronze medal finish this past season at Dawson College, a secondary school in Montreal, Quebec.  In her final three seasons at Dawson she ranked second on her team in scoring and helped pace the Blues to a pair of league crowns, third, second, and first place finishes at the provincial championships, and two second place finishes at the national championships.

Said Carson on Leblanc-Florent: "We are so grateful to find a player with Aurélie's talent and passion for the game this late in the recruiting process. She is extremely fundamental and a natural leader at the point guard position. Dawson College produces many quality women's basketball players, and Aurélie is no exception."

Tucker averaged 3.2 points and tallied 61 assists in 24 games for Auburn this past season, helping the Tigers post a 19-15 record and third round appearance in the WNIT.  She tallied a season high eight points, draining 8-of-10 free throws, in a WNIT first round victory over Furman.

She averaged 16.0 points and 4.0 assists per game as a senior at Alcovy (6A) High School, where she helped key the Tigers to three-year record of 80-15, including a 28-6 record, region championship, and "Sweet 16" appearance in the state championships in 2013, and "Final Four" appearance in 2012 — part of a 27-5 campaign.  Selected as a team captain as a junior and senior, she was a two-time all-county, all-region, and honorable mention all-state selection and finished her prep career as Alcovy's all-time leader in scoring (1,688 points) and assists.

"We were ecstatic at a second chance to make Meagan a Paladin after recruiting her early in her high school career," said Carson. "Her drive, work ethic, and size at the point guard position quickly elevated her to a BCS level player. Although she must sit out of the 14-15 season due to NCAA regulations, I know she will continue to not only elevate her own game, but our entire program."

Carter, Leblanc-Florent, and Tucker join a Furman program that posted an 18-13 record and Southern Conference second place finish in 2013-14 — the Paladins' best finish in a decade.  Carson, the SoCon's Coach of the Year, will welcome the return of four starters this coming season, including a pair of All-SoCon performers in forwards Brittany Hodges and Holli Wilkins, and SoCon All-Freshman Team selection, guard Whitney Bunn.