Lander Adds Russ to 12-13 Roster
GREENWOOD – Lander head women's basketball coach Kevin Pederson announced today that Emili Russ, a 5-11 forward from Newton (Ga.) High School, will join the Lady Bearcats program this fall.
During her senior season, Russ averaged 9.0 points, 10 rebounds, 3.5 assists and one blocked shot per game while shooting 75 percent from the free throw line.
A member of the National Honor Society, the Covington, Ga. native led the Rams to a 21-8 record last year. During her career, she also earned Defender of the Year, Top Rebounder, Rookie of the Year and Player of the Week honors.
"When you watch Emili play," said Pederson, "she does everything you look for in a true post. She reminds me a lot of Kaylyn Small in her ability to really affect the game on the defensive side of the court. She is a true back to the basket player who will work hard in the low post and rebound. Emili is fundamentally solid and has a great attitude. We think she will fit right in and make a very nice addition to our basketball team."
In choosing to play at Lander, Emili stated, "The way the program is run and how they play basketball fits how I love to play. I love the up-tempo game and I knew then it would fit my style of play. I feel like Lander is home."
The Lady Bearcats only return one player from the 2011-12 team which reached the NCAA Division II Elite Eight.
"Being young will not be an excuse," she said. "I'm looking forward to a great season with my coaches and my team."
Over the past five years, Lander is the only women's basketball team in South Carolina, at any level, to qualify for the NCAA tournament each season. Over the past three seasons, during which the Lady Bearcats became the first team in South Carolina to make consecutive Sweet 16 appearances in the NCAA Tournament, Lander posted the best record in Peach Belt Conference play with a 48-6 record.