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Published 11/1/2005

Owens Express Women's Basketball Opens Season at Delta College, Nov. 5

Owens Express Women’s Basketball  Team Owens Community College women's basketball will open its 2005-06 season at Delta College on Saturday, November 5. The season opener will begin at 1 p.m.

The Owens women's basketball program is led by second-year head coach Michael Llanas of Toledo. During his first year, Llanas led the Express to a 19-12 overall record and a 9-5 mark (third place) in the Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) regular season standings. The Express advanced to the semifinals of the NJCAA Region XII Championships before losing to Schoolcraft Collge. Llanas' assistant coach is Christa Strube of Monroe, Mich.

The Express will open its home campaign against Fanshawe College as part of the Tip-Off Classic on Friday, November 11. All home games are free and occur at the College's Student Health and Activities Center (SHAC) on the Toledo-area Campus. Owens is located on Oregon Road, four miles from downtown Toledo.

"Our coaching staff is very excited about this year's team," Llanas said. "We have a great group of first-year and returning players who want to continue the tradition of Express women's basketball excellence. I expect the hard work and dedication, put forth by our student-athletes in the preseason, to pay off in the regular season as we contend for a conference championship."

The Express have six players returning from last year's team, including OCCAC Honorable Mention All-Conference selection Bridget Buss of Toledo (Whitmer H.S.). In 2004-05, the sophomore guard played in 31 games and averaged 9.5 points, 1.7 assists and 1.5 steals. She also was an OCCAC Academic All-Conference selection.

Also returning to Llanas' squad are Ashley Williams of Toledo (Start H.S.) and Kelly McPherson of Northwood (Lake H.S.).

Williams, a sophomore guard, played in 27 games and averaged 3.5 points and 2.6 assists. Her postseason honors included being named Owens' Most Improved Player award recipient. During the 2004-05 season, McPherson played in 31 games and averaged 3.5 points and 2.1 rebounds. The sophomore guard/forward was an OCCAC Academic All-Conference selection and was named the team's Defensive Player of the Year.

Other returning student-athletes include Kira Sayles of Toledo, point guard (Start H.S.); LaToya Bidden of Detroit, Mich., center (Detroit Community H.S.), and Sarah Moore of Taylor, Mich., center (Truman H.S.).

First-year players to the Express women's basketball program are Kelsey Shumaker of Dresden, guard (Tri-Valley H.S.); Amanda Coressel of Malinta, point guard (Patrick Henry H.S.); Brittany Barrera of Oregon, forward (Cardinal Stritch H.S.); Brittany Murrell of Toledo, point guard (Central Catholic H.S.); Katie Culver of Tiffin, forward (Tiffin Columbian H.S.); Markiesha Hudgins of Toledo, forward (Woodward H.S.); Tamara Anderson of Galloway, forward/center (Westland H.S.); Tashe Jacobs of Findlay, forward (Findlay H.S.); Amanda Cogley of Lima, guard (Lima Bath H.S.), and Tia Simms of Fremont, forward (Fremont Ross H.S.).

Owens Community College is one of the fastest-growing higher educational institutions in Ohio. On the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses, Owens serves more than 45,000 credit and non-credit students, making it the number one choice for new college students. Owens is committed to providing small classes, personal attention and unmatched affordability. Owens Community College offers over 130 program areas in Agriculture, Business, Fine and Performing Arts, Health, Public Service, Skilled Trades, and Industrial and Engineering Technologies. Owens students also can earn the first two years of a bachelor's degree with a smooth transfer to any area four-year college or university.


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