Three-point shooter signs letter with UMaine

Posted July 01, 2010, at 10:12 p.m.

    Sheay Longstaff, a 5-foot-9 guard with 3-point shooting capability, has signed a National Letter of Intent to attend the University of Maine this fall.

Longstaff, a native of Topeka, Kan., was an honorable mention All-Jayhawk Conference selection this past season while playing for Coffeyville Community College.

She averaged 9.6 points per game and was a respectable 39.4 percent (71-for-180) from the 3-point line.

This past season the Black Bears shot just 26.7 percent from beyond the arc (95-for-356).

“She’s a shooter and that’s something we need,” said Mane coach Cindy Blodgett. “That’s a hole we needed to fill. We need someone who can come in and stretch the defense and make [defenses] get out and defend us 20 feet from the basket.

“There’s an art to [shooting] and she did it pretty consistently for her team. It’s exciting because its another piece to the puzzle that we’re adding,” Blodgett said.

Longstaff, who was a sophomore at Coffeyville, was also a 77 percent free throw shooter and was tied for second on the team in steals with 35.

Maine shot 69 percent from the free throw line.

She will be on scholarship and will have two years of eligibility remaining after playing two years at the junior college.

Blodgett said Longstaff has good defensive instincts.

“They always put her on the opposing team’s best wing player,” explained Blodgett. “She’s up for that challenge so she should be able to help us on both ends.”

The Black Bears graduated two guards in Kristin Baker and Amanda Tewksbury. They were the team’s second and third-leading scorers, respectively. Baker averaged 10 points per game and Tewksbury averaged 8.5.

Blodgett likes the fact Longstaff has two years of college experience under her belt.

“She’s obviously a little older than a typical freshman and has good, solid leadership skills,” said Blodgett who said Longstaff will “certainly be in the mix” to earn significant playing time.

Longstaff said in a press release, “Attending the University of Maine will be a new experience for me, but I am excited for the opportunity to meet new people that I would have been unable to if I stayed close to home. The campus was great and I enjoyed the environment and family atmosphere of the team.”

She also said, “My 3-point shot is big for me but I also want to bring positive energy to the court.”

Longstaff’s coming to Maine is contingent upon her acceptance into the school and meeting NCAA eligibility guidelines.

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