Lady Mocs add a pair in early signing period - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Lady Mocs add a pair in early signing period

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CHATTANOOGA (UTC) -- The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga head coach Wes Moore signed the nation's No. 11 recruiting class among mid-majors for the 2012-13 season, according to

Turning in their signed NLI's this morning were Tatianna Jackson of Dallas, Ga., and point guard Alicia Payne of Memphis.

Jackson, a 5-foot-10 shooting guard from The Lovett School in Atlanta, is a four-star guard as rated by ESPN HoopGurlz and is ranked the No. 46 shooting guard in the country.

"This may be the first time we've had a player rated that high," Moore said. "She drew a lot of national attention. She had scholarship offers from SEC and Big East schools not to mention schools from all over the country. She's a special player and a special person and we're very, very fortunate to have her here at UTC."

"Tatianna is somebody that was at the top of our recruiting list for several reasons," UTC Head Coach Wes Moore said. "First, she's a great basketball player. Second, when you talk about character and work ethic, that's just the type of kid she is. She's going to be a great leader."

She passed the 1,000-point milestone in her junior year for Lovett and averages 17.1 points and 8.1 rebounds per game.

"She's all you look for in a guard," Moore said. "She has the quickness and athleticism to go by people. She can knock down the three with that same quickness. She can guard people and make plays on defense. She is someone who is going to get better because she puts so much time into the game.

Payne, a three-star point guard from White Station in Memphis is a three-star point guard as rated by ESPN HoopGurlz as well. She helped the Spartans to a 25-3 overall record last season and an 11-1 District 16-AAA mark while averaging 3.85 assists per game and more than three steals.

"Alicia is a very good athlete and is, in the truest sense of the word, a point guard," Moore said. "She gets a lot more satisfaction out of an assist than in scoring herself. She has that extra gear and can go by people. She's going to ignite a running game in your transition game.

"She's quick off the dribble and can break down a defense. She is usually looking to distribute the ball once she draws a second defender, but she is also very capable of scoring on her own and knocking down a three.

Payne also garnered attention from ACC and Big East schools throughout the recruiting process.

"We're fortunate to get her here and keep her here in the state. Memphis has produced some great players for us. We're excited about what she can do for us and what she brings to the table.

"Both Tatianna and Alicia are very intelligent players. That's the thing about this recruiting class," Moore said. "Both are great students in the classroom and very intelligent on the court."

Also eligible next season will be 6-3 forward Ashlen Dewart who is sitting out this season due to NCAA transfer rules. The Lady Mocs have just two seniors on the squad this year in Whitney Hood and Tenisha Townsend as well as redshirt junior Capriee Tucker.

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