Two guards ink with Soderquist for 2017

SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. -- Two guards have signed letters of intent and will join the 2017-18 edition of the John Brown University women's basketball team, head coach Jeff Soderquistannounced Friday morning (May 18).

Transfer Karina Chandra comes to Siloam Springs by way of NCAA I Eastern Illinois while incoming freshman Taylor Fergen comes aboard after a successful high school career at Republic (Mo.).

The Golden Eagles completed another remarkable season in 2016-17, this time with an appearance in the NAIA National Championships Round of 16 after narrowly knocking off Benedictine (Kan.) for the second time in the Round of 32. Despite a season-ending loss to upstart William Woods (Mo.), JBU pieced together a 23-9 season (.719) and an impressive 13-3 mark (.813) inside Bill George Arena. Behind four wins over top-25 teams, John Brown turned in the second-most regular season wins (22) in program history.

Although without the services of graduate Kodee Powell, JBU's second-leading scorer and an All-Sooner Athletic honoree, the Golden Eagles welcome back NAIA All-America third team selection Baily Cameron back for her junior campaign, along with eight returning upperclassmen.

"Karina adds some experience to a team that has a lot coming back," noted Soderquist. "She will add depth to our perimeter game in addition to using her height and strength to play multiple positions. She will really help us in our tough conference. We are so excited for Karina being part of our program.

"Additionally, we are very excited for Taylor to be a Golden Eagle. She is a very talented guard that will fit in really well with our system and program. She is a very talented three-point shooter and has a great 'basketball IQ.'"

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Karina Chandra • G • 5-10 • Brisbane, Australia

Chandra began her collegiate career at Eastern Illinois where the guard played a pair of seasons under head coach Debbie Black. In Charleston, Ill., Chandra made appearances in 35 contests, including four starts as a freshman in the 2015-16 season. Along with her first-career start at Omaha (Neb.), Chandra scored a career-high eight points in 32 minutes against Omaha.

Before coming to the states, the Brisbane, Australia native played for the U-18 Queensland reserve team from 2014-15, averaging 14 points per game in the premier league in the spring. During the winter, she suited up for the Post-Tels B and averaged 17.9 points a night and topped 30 points on three occasions.

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Taylor Fergen • G • 5-5 • Republic, Mo.

Fergen joins the Blue and Gold after a three-year varsity stint at Republic (Mo.) High School for head coach Kris Flood where she helped the Tigers amass three district championships and back-to-back conference titles. Leading her team to consecutive sectional appearances in the MSHSAA tournament, Fergen also set a free-throw percentage school record as a junior before claiming the career record holder as a senior.

The high school career that also saw a pair of seasons on Republic's track and field team, produced a senior season marked with an All-District first team selection, All-Conference first team honor and an All-Ozarks second team mention. In her final season, the squad's leading scorer was named the offensive team MVP.

The Golden Eagles will open the 2017-18 campaign on Oct. 27 at Bill George Arena. An opponent has yet to be named.

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