May 5, 2009
TUCSON, Ariz. - The University of Arizona women's basketball team has announced the signing of sophomore forward Soana Lucet, a transfer from the College of Southern Idaho, with two years of eligibility remaining with the Wildcats.
A native of New Caledonia, Lucet is one of the most highly-rated junior college players in the country. She was ranked the #3 power forward among all junior college players and #4 overall by the Collegiate Girls Basketball Report.
She is the first female basketball player from her country to play collegiately in the United States. Lucet was rated the best player in her age group from New Caledonia and was selected to play in the 2007 South Pacific Games.
Lucet, who is 6'1", led the Golden Eagles in scoring and rebounding in both of her seasons at CSI, earning 1st-team all-Scenic West Athletic Conference honors while also grabbing 3rd-team all-NJCAA Division I recognition this past campaign.
As a sophomore, she tallied 21.1 points and 8.2 rebounds per game while shooting 48.5 percent from the field and 75.2 percent of her free throws. She also can step out beyond the arc as she hit 17-of-51 (.333) from three-point range.
The versatile forward tallied 30 or more points five times during her sophomore season, topped off by a 35-point outing on 14-of-26 shooting against Casper College on November 29, 2008. In all, she led the Golden Eagles in scoring in 20-of-31 contests as the team advanced to the Region 18 championship game, where she was named to the all-tournament team, and finished with a 26-5 overall record.
A strong rebounder, Lucet holds the CSI school record for rebounds and finished her career second all-time for points scored in a single season. She tallied a career-best 21 rebounds during her freshman season against Snow JC (Utah) while averaging 8.4 boards per contest.
"Soana will add versatility from the post position," said Arizona head coach Niya Butts. "She has the ability to play inside and out, which gives us more flexibility within our offense. We struggled to score points all season long and Soana will gives us a much-needed boost in offensive production."
Arizona has now added six players for the 2009-10 season, including four junior college transfers, one four-year transfer and one high school standout. Lucet will join University of Arkansas transfer Shanita Arnold, Arizona high school Player of the Year Davellyn Whyte, NJCAA All-Americans Brooke Jackson and Jennifer Kioa as well as Amanda Pierson, an all-region pick at Seward County CC in Liberal, Kansas.