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JUCO standout gives Flyers depth at guard

A day after announcing the transfer of one guard, the University of Dayton women’s basketball program added another with the signing of junior college standout Tiffany Johnson.

Johnson, who will be a junior for the 2013-14 season, started 32 games for Louisburg College in North Carolina, leading the Hurricanes (32-3) to the 2013 NJCAA Division II national championship. The 5-foot-8 guard averaged 8.6 points and 4.2 rebounds during the season. She topped those numbers with 15 points and seven rebounds in the national championship. She also played 11 games for Drexel in 2011-12.

“We’re counting on her experience helping us a lot. We lost a really experienced point guard in Sam (MacKay) and Kelley Austria did a good job last year playing both the point and the wing,” UD coach Jim Jabir said.

“That’s going to be key to our success. We need for her to step in. We rely on chemistry probably more than most schools. She needs to come in and be a leader. The better her transition is the better we’ll be.”

The Flyers were in need of another ball-handler after guard Bre Elder’s transfer. Elder played in 26 of UD’s 31 games last season and averaged 1.7 points and 9.9 minutes.

“There was a bit of urgency to it,” said Jabir, who knows Johnson’s junior college coach. “I’m glad it worked out the way it did because I really have a good feeling about Tiffany and I really like her game.”

The Flyers are also expected to announce the signing of 6-5 post player Saicha Grant-Allen. A member of the Canadian national team, Grant-Allen played a key role as the team won the bronze medal at the 2012 FIBA U17 World Championship. Grant-Allen, who was also looking at Syracuse, South Florida, Nebraska, Iowa and Mississippi State among others, will join the Flyers in the fall.

Johnson and Grant-Allen join an incoming freshman class ranked No. 20 in the nation by All-Star Girls Report.

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