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April 16, 2010

Golden Eagle signing class adds Darling, Moore

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Adding to the highly regarded group of recruits she signed during the fall, Tennessee Tech women’s basketball coach Sytia Messer on Wednesday announced two additional signees to bolster the young Golden Eagle roster.

Tech’s two newest signees are Brittany Darling, a 6-foot-5 post player from Owens (Ohio) Community College and Keisha Moore, a 5-foot-8 guard from Selma, Ala.

“We’re very happy to sign Brittany and Keisha,” Messer said. “I think adding them to the players we already have will provide great chemistry within our program. They’re great kids and they both bring a real winning attitude.

“When they join the first signees that we had, I think this team can compete at the highest level of the Ohio Valley Conference,” Messer added.  “We signed everybody that we wanted. We signed someone at every position, and we’re excited about this class. All of them are extremely competitive.”

Darling, who plans to enroll in business management, prepped at Genoa High School in Curtice, Ohio before spending the past two seasons as the starter in the middle for Michael Llana at Owens CC. ??? 

During her two seasons at Owens, Darling averaged 10.9 points, 9.6 rebounds and 3.1 block shots per game for the Express. This past year, the sophomore center averaged 13.6 points and ranked 20th nationally in rebounds, averaging 11 per game. She earned first-team OCCAC all-conference honors and was named the team’s co-MVP. Darling holds the school records for most rebounds in a single game (22) and blocks in a season (127).

The Express finished the 2009-10 campaign with a 27-6 overall record and an 11-3 mark to claim second place in the regular season conference standings. Owens lost to Schoolcraft College in the finals of the NJCAA Region XII Championships, one victory short of reaching the national tournament. The Express was ranked No. 6 in the final NJCAA Division II Women’s Basketball poll.

“With her size and experience, I think Brittany can come in and have an immediate impact on the Ohio Valley Conference,” Messer said. “She can finish well and she has a soft touch around the basket. She’s can score, she can rebound and she can alter shots.”

Keisha Moore comes to Tech following a standout four-year career for coach Anthony Harris at Selma High School. A shooting guard, she will enroll in general curriculum.

She helped the Saints compile a 28-7 record in her senior season as she averaged 15 points per game, capping the year with her fourth consecutive all-region selection. The explosive scorer averaged 16 points and five rebounds for her career and scored more than 1,500 total points. She helped the team to the state tournament as a sophomore where they lost in the Final Four, and she averaged 18 points per game as a junior with a career-high game of 35 points.

She was named the South Team MVP after scoring 15 points in the Alabama All-Star game as a junior.

“Keisha is a two-three type player who can shoot,” Messer said. “She’s a real competitor and I love her attitude. She loves to win, and she can make a difference.”

In mid-November, the first part of Messer’s initial recruiting class included four signees and was tabbed in the Top 100 in the nation and the highest ranked in the Ohio Valley Conference. Messer’s four original signees included Molly Heady of Clarkrange, Tenn., Diamond Henderson of Kennesaw, Ga., Briana Jordan of Atlanta, and Candace Parson of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.