AZUSA, Calif.-- The Azusa Pacific women’s basketball team has signed five players for the 2014-15 season. The Cougars, who finished in second place in their second season as members of the Pacific West Conference last year, will add a trio of freshmen and a pair of transfers to a group that returns three All-PacWest players.
“We’re obviously thrilled about what we bring back, but to add the amount of talent we are bringing in is really exciting for us. Each of the players we’re adding fill a role and will make us better immediately. Competition across the board will only make us better, and I expect each of them to compete right away,” said head coach T.J. Hardeman.
Azusa Pacific picked up commitments from Cal Poly Pomona transfer Cyndie Jones and Cuesta College guard Miriam Zabinksi, while high school products Annaya Raghavan, Ariana Abo, and Christina Barrameda round out the 2014 class.
CYNDIE JONES: 5-8, Guard | Riverside, Calif., Cal Poly Pomona/Martin Luther King HS
The 2012-13 California Collegiate Athletics Association Freshman of the Year averaged seven points and four rebounds per game in her first collegiate season at Cal Poly Pomona. Jones played in 27 games, staring nine times, and led the Broncos with 38 steals. The do-it-all combo guard has spent time playing at four different positions, and projects to step right in with the Cougars’ already talented back court.
Hardeman -- “Cyndie is an electric player. She brings a level of quickness and will help us defend all over the court. Cyndie does everything with energy, and her enthusiasm for life is contagious.”
MIRIAM ZABINSKI: 5-9, Guard | Valley Center, Calif., Cuesta College/Valley Center HS
Zabinski had an impressive sophomore season at Cuesta College, where she led the Cougars with 18.5 points per game. The Valley Center High School product surpassed the 20-point plateau 12 times in 30 games, scoring a season-high 31 points in a 103-64 win over San Diego College on Nov. 16. Zabinski tabbed eight double-doubles during her sophomore campaign, while her 2.7 assists per game average was the second best on the team.
Hardeman -- “Miriam is a versatile player who has shown that she can score and rebound at a consistent level. She can play a myriad of positions, and has a great attitude and willingness to do whatever is asked of her. She’s a hard worker who’s developed her game, and I anticipate a very good year from her.”
ANNANYA RAGHAVAN: 5-6, Guard | San Jose, Calif., Evergreen Valley HS
Raghavan filled up the stat sheet at Evergreen Valley High School, averaging 15.2 points, 4.6 assists, and 7.1 rebounds per game to earn All-Mount Hamilton League honors while taking home the league’s Senior of the Year award. She scored 10+ points in 21 games as a senior, and had 20 or more points on five separate occasions.
Hardeman-- “Annanya’s basketball IQ is off the charts. She sees the floor so well and anticipates how a play will develop. Her ability to stay calm and deliver the right pass is a unique talent that doesn’t come along too often. She’ll be a coach on the floor, and I’m excited about what she brings to the table.”
ARIANA ABO: 5-5, Guard | La Verne, Calif., Bonita HS
A local product out of Bonita High School, Abo comes from a winning background. Known for her hard work and effort, Abo helped Bonita to an appearance in the CIF Southern Section Division 1AA championship game against Millikan High School. In the game Abo drained a late jumper to bring the Rams within three points before Bonita eventually fell 56-53. The guard was also a two-time All-Hacienda League honoree while helping Bonita to a perfect 48-0 clip in league play throughout her career.
Hardeman-- “Ariana is a phenomenal team player that we’re lucky to have. She brings a great attitude and is the prototypical glue player for any winning team. A lot of what she does won’t show up in the box score, but she always leaves her imprint on the game and we’re looking forward to her contributions over the next four years.”
CHRISTIANA BARRAMEDA: 5-6, Guard | Ramona, Calif., Ramona HS
A three-sport athlete out of Ramona High School, Barrameda exceled on the basketball court throughout her senior season. The 5-6 guard averaged 9.6 points per game, while pulling in 6.8 rebounds. The sharpshooter scored in double figures 11 times as a senior, pouring in a season-high 24 in a 69-58 win over Vista High School. The crafty guard averaged 2.4 assists and 2.5 steals per game.
Hardeman-- “Christiana is a dangerous scorer who had a really good career at Ramona. With her ability to shoot the ball from all over the court she has the makeup to be one of our instant-offense type of players. She fits well with what we try do and I’m excited to see how she transitions to the college game.”