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Jeff Kolpack, Published June 25 2012

Bison women's basketball adds guard, Australian player

FARGO – North Dakota State added two players to its women’s basketball roster on Monday, including a Southern Illinois transfer who started 40 games in two seasons.

Guard Brooke LeMar will have to sit out this season because of NCAA transfer rules and will have two years of eligibility remaining. Bison head coach Carolyn DeHoff did not specify a reason for LeMar leaving SIU.

“She came across on an email wanting to transfer,” DeHoff said, “so we followed up.”

The 5-foot-6 LeMar started 40 of her team’s 60 games the last two seasons and had 194 assists. She was featured on the team’s media guide for the 2011-12 season.

Her 135 assists as a freshman ranks eighth in school history. SIU plays in the Missouri Valley Conference.

Originally from Canyon High School in Canyon Country, Calif., she was a 2010 McDonald’s All-American nominee and was ranked in the top 100 prep guards by ESPN Hoopgurlz high school girls basketball website. She averaged 14.9 points, 5.1 assists and 2.7 steals.

The Bison went farther – much farther – to get 5-11 forward Marena Whittle. She is from Australia and got to NDSU thanks to new Bison assistant coach Tom Goehle.

The former assistant at the University of Sioux Falls (S.D.) has been recruiting Australia for the past two years.

“He established some connections and had her on the radar,” DeHoff said. “She’s a good-sized kid, runs well and looks fairly skilled on film.”

NDSU lost starter Abby Plucker to graduation at forward and saw freshman Danielle Muri transfer.

“There are things available there,” DeHoff said.

Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be reached at (701) 241-5546.

Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found

at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia

Kolpack is the host of the WDAY Golf Show Saturdays from 8-9 a.m. on 970-AM.