BOCA RATON, Fla. -
Florida Atlantic University Head Women’s Basketball Coach Jim Jabir and his staff wasted no time filling in the gaps for the 2017-18 season with six talented and experienced newcomers. The Owls will welcome four junior college transfers and two Division I transfers for the upcoming year.
Five guards and one forward will join the Owls’ roster with the junior college transfers and graduate student being able to compete immediately. The contingent brings a history of success and accolades including a WNIT appearance, several championship titles and all-region and all-conference recognition.
“I’m excited to welcome the first recruiting class to our FAU family,” said Jabir. “We have a great mixture of experience and character. This class will help stabilize the roster and help us begin building a championship program.”
Below is a look at the new FAU women’s basketball players. For all the latest women’s basketball news, please follow the team on Instagram and Twitter @FAU_WBB.
Alexis Cowan - Jr. Guard, 5-8 - Bolingbrook, Ill. - State Fair Community College/Auburn High School
Alexis Cowan is a junior college transfer from State Fair Community College and will provide her talents to the guard contingent. In 2016-17, she guided her team to a 19-9 overall record and 7-2 in conference play with an appearance in the Region 16 Division 1 Basketball Championship semifinal game as the No. 2 seed. For her efforts, Cowan was named NJCAA Division I Third Team All-American, NJCAA First Team All-Region and received Missouri Community College Athletic Conference (MCCAC) Women's Basketball All-Conference First Team honors. Last season, she started and played in all 28 contests and led the Roadrunners in points per game overall (12.4) and in league play (13.4). She shot 48.7 percent from the floor and a team-best 50 percent from beyond the arc, which put her second in the NJCAA in the latter. Cowan is well rounded on both sides of the ball with 2.3 assists per game, 3.5 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 0.5 blocks. In 2015-16, she again was a standout performer helping the team capture the Region 16 Division I Women's Basketball Tournament Championship title and a spot in the NJCAA Division I District K Championship game.
Myka Johnson Matthews - Jr. Guard, 5-8 - Upper Marlboro, Md. - Stetson/Bishop McNamara High School
Myka Johnson Matthews was a two-year standout performer at Division I Stetson and will join the Owls’ guard rotation after sitting out the upcoming season as required by NCAA transfer rules. In 2016-17, she played in 33 games, making 18 starts. Johnson Matthews was third on the team in shooting (.526) and averaged 5.2 points and 1.7 rebounds per game. She scored in double figures five times during the season and helped lead the Hatters to a 26-7 overall record, 13-1 in conference play and an Atlantic Sun (ASUN) Championship game and WNIT appearance. Johnson Matthews also had an impressive freshman season earning ASUN All-Freshman Team honors. She played in 30 games, making 28 starts (19 in a row) and hit double-figure scoring in 10 games. Johnson Matthews ranked second on the team in field goal percentage (.492) and hit double-digits versus McNeese State (10) and Louisiana (12) in the WBI. She is also tough on defense, leading the team with 10 charges in 2015-16 and 13 in 2016-17.
Rhianna Laing - Jr. Forward, 5-10 - Bradford, England - Cowley College/Barking Abbey School
Rhianna Laing joins the Owls as a junior forward after spending two seasons at Cowley College in Arkansas City, Kansas. She was the team’s top returning scorer (8.8) coming into 2016-17 as she shot 45.5 percent from the floor as a freshman. Laing was a member of the 2016 Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference (KJCCC) Region VI Championship team and also helped the team advance to the 2017 KJCCC Region VI Semifinals. The England native made 24 starts in 27 appearances and was third among starters in points per game with 9.6. (37th in the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference) shooting 40.1 percent overall. Laing was just as impressive in league play also averaging 9.6 points per game and shooting 33.9 percent from beyond the arc, which placed her 29th and 16th in the conference, respectively. She also contributed on the defensive end with 1.9 steals and 4.0 rebounds each game. Before coming to the states, Laing was part of the team that finished second at the European Championships and had the opportunity to play in the Youth Olympics in Australia.
Fernanda Midaglia - Jr. Guard, 5-8 - Montevideo, Uruguay - College of Central Florida/Colegio Sirodal
Junior guard Frenanda Midaglia will be another addition from the state of Florida after playing two years at the College of Central Florida. As a freshman, Midaglia made an immediate impact appearing in 25 games for the Lady Patriots and starting 12. She averaged 4.2 points per game and shot 80 percent from the free throw line. She also excelled in the classroom earning a spot on the FCSAA and Mid-Florida Conference All-Academic Teams in 2015-16. In 2016-17, Midaglia played in 23 contests and started 15, improving her points per game average in her sophomore season with 7.1 overall and 8.8 in league play. She was third on the team in assists per game (2.4), fourth in steals (1.1) and fifth in rebounds (4.3). Midaglia helped lead the Lady Patriots to their second consecutive FCSAA State/NJCAA District Women's Basketball Tournament and a 9-6 conference record in 2016-17.
DaChé Williams - R-Sr. Guard, 6-2 - Bloomfield, Conn. - Rutgers/Watkinson
DaChe Williams will conclude her collegiate career as a graduate student at FAU after playing at both Rutgers and Northeastern. She appeared in the final 10 games of the 2016-17 season for Rutgers making her debut at No. 3 Maryland. She scored a season-high seven points and played a season-high 15 minutes against No. 12/9 Ohio State in the regular season finale, shooting 3-of-6 from the floor and hauling in a season-high three rebounds against the Buckeyes. She matched that performance with three rebounds versus No. 11 Wisconsin in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament. Prior to her year with the Scarlett Knights, she played in 11 games as a true freshman in 2013-14 for Northeastern where she made two starts. Williams averaged 3.5 points and 1.3 rebounds per game and netted a career-high 10 points against Tulane and a career-high four rebounds against NJIT. She was a five-year varsity member of the Watkinson School basketball team, four-time MVP and four-time All-New England selection with 2,058 total career points.
Jamaria Williams - Jr. Guard, 5-5 - Chicago, Ill. - Miami Dade College/North Lawndale College Prep
South Florida native Jamaria Williams brings her talents to FAU as a junior guard from Miami Dade College. She spent two seasons making her mark with the Sharks. In 2016-17, she made 28 appearances and started 12 contests earning First Team All-Southern Conference honors. Last year, Williams was the team’s top scorer in league play with 16.8 points per game and the second-leading scorer overall with 12.4 points per game. She shot 46.6 percent overall, which ranked her 16th in the Florida College System Activities Association (FCSAA) NJCAA Region 8, and 38.7 percent from beyond the arc, which is fifth in the NJCAA Region 8. She was also the team’s assist and steals leader averaging 5.0 and 2.8 per game, respectively, which ranks her third in both categories in the league. Williams also was named to the 2015-16 All-Southern Conference Second Team in her freshman season after helping the Sharks finish third in the league with an 18-12, overall record and 8-7 in conference.