Emmitsburg, Md. (May 17, 2013) -- Coming off the program's first trip to the Northeast Conference Semifinals since the 2000-01 season, Mount St. Mary's women's basketball Head Coach Bryan Whitten announced his recruiting class for the 2013-14 campaign. Kayla Bates (Tyrone, Pa./Bishop Guilfoyle) and Kathleen Bélanger-Finn (St-Lambert, Quebec/Champlain College St-Lambert) will begin their freshman seasons in the fall of 2013, while Sarafina Arthur-Williams (Germantown, Md./Churchill/UNC Greensboro) enters the program as a sophomore after transferring from UNC Greensboro.
"We are very excited about our incoming freshman class," Whitten said. "I think they have the talent and ability to help us continue to compete for an NEC Championship. All three young women are dedicated and hard-working on the court, but even better for our program, are excellent people and will be great teammates and friends off the court. They will be outstanding representatives of Mount St. Mary's and our women's basketball program."
Bates, a 5-7 guard, guided her team to four-consecutive District IV Championships at Bishop Guilfoyle in Altoona, Pa. She was a four-year letter winner and a three-year starter for Mark Moschella's squad that compiled a 109-8 record during Bates' career. Bishop Guilfoyle won the Pennsylvania State Championship in 2010 with a 30-0 record. The squad returned to the state title game during Bates' sophomore season in 2011 before making the quarterfinals in 2012 and the semifinals in 2013.
Her performance during the 2011-12 campaign as a junior with a 12.7 points per game average to go with 3.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists earned her Third Team All-State recognition as well as Altoona Mirror Player of the Year. In 2012, Bates was also recognized as an All-Tournament selection and First Team All-Laurel Highlands Conference. Bates repeated as a Third-Team All-State selection as a senior with 10.2 points, 2.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game.
"Kayla is a guard who fits in perfectly with what we do," Whitten said. "She handles the ball well, has a good 3-to-2 game, and is really active on the boards. With her driving ability she will create opportunities for herself and for her teammates. Kayla is a high motor player who will bring a lot of energy to our program."
A 5-7 point guard, Bélanger-Finn, who makes her way to the Mount after a three-year career at Champlain St-Lambert, led the RSEQ in minutes played last season with 36 minutes per contest. She was a team captain under Head Coach George Germanos for two seasons, averaging 8.2 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.0 steals per game.
Prior to her time at Champlain, she attended high school at Collège Durocher in Quebec where she played five years of varsity basketball. Bélanger-Finn earned team MVP during all five seasons and won a regional championship in 2008.
"Kathleen is a point guard who can really run a team," said Whitten. "She is a good defender, has three-point range, and does a great job getting her teammates the ball where they can be successful with it. Kathleen competes so hard and is a player we feel will have an impact on our program."
Arthur-Williams will have three years of eligibility left after making nine appearances in the first semester of the 2012-13 season at UNC Greensboro before deciding to transfer to the Mount . A 6-1 center, Arthur-Williams started five games and scored 29 points including a career-high 11 against Richmond for UNCG. She enrolled at Mount St. Mary's in January.
As a high school player at Winston Churchill School in Potomac, Md., Arthur-Williams earned team MVP and Best Rebounder accolades. As a junior, she averaged a double-double with 12 points and 14 rebounds. Her senior campaign included MVP honors at the Bobby Miller Memorial Tournament after helping her team win the championship.
"Sarafina joined us in January, transferring from UNCG. Sarafina is an athletic, strong post player who is a tenacious rebounder," Whitten said. "She attacks the basket in the low post and is physical on the defensive end. She has already had an impact on our program as last year's post players had to battle against her in practice and that challenge helped them grow as players and helped us in our conference season."
The Mount completed a 15-16 record in 2012-13, including a 10-8 mark in the NEC regular season schedule. The team had six wins in the final nine games and returns its top two scorers in Second Team All-NEC selection Sydney Henderson (13.1 ppg) and All-Tournament Team member Jacqueline Brewer (10.0 ppg).