Churchill, Watson sign National Letters of Intent with SIUE women's basketball

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EDWARDSVILLE - Southern Illinois University Edwardsville women's basketball Head Coach Paula Buscher announced the signing of Cloe Churchill (Canton, Illinois) and Dearria Watson (Salem, Illinois) to National Letters of Intent to join the Cougars in the 2016-17 season.

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"We are very excited about the potential of these two students-athletes," said Buscher. "We genuinely believe that each signee has the ability to impact our program immediately in a multitude of ways. Our Cougar family grew much larger and stronger with the addition of Cloe and Dearria."

Churchill, a 5-foot, 9-inch guard, garnered All-Conference and special mention All-State honors in each of the last three seasons at Canton High School.

She was named the Daily Ledger Player of the Year the last three seasons along with being selected to the Mid-Illini All-Conference first team. Churchill also earned the Terry Kennedy Most Valuable Player Award for the Beardstown Lady Tiger Classic.

Churchill is Canton's all-time leader in points and steals.  She finished the 2015 season averaging 20 points and six rebounds. She already has recorded 1,480 points in her high school career under Coach Layne Langholf. Churchill will be looked upon to bring her scoring mentality to the Cougars.

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She is the daughter of Kathy and Marc Churchill.  She also played AAU basketball for the Springfield Predators coached by Joby Crum.

"Cloe is a crafty guard who is a threat from the perimeter and off the dribble," said Buscher. "Paired with her tenacity and competitiveness, Cloe is a well-rounded player who we believe can contribute right away to our program."

Watson, the daughter of Melissa Martin, earned second team All-State from the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association last season. She also garnered first team All-Apollo Conference honors. Watson was also named to the Mattoon and Salem All-tournament teams, and was voted best offensive player for her team.

A 6-1 forward, Watson will be a potential matchup nightmare for opponents. She averaged a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds per contest while shooting 48 percent from the field last season. She also joined the 1,000-point club as a junior.  

"Dearria is a talented all-around athlete who has played for one of the best coaches in the state of Illinois, Janet Holst," said Buscher. "She is a great fit for our style of play, and we are looking forward to her success as a Cougar."  

Buscher said both Churchill and Watson are quality young women on and off the court.

"We are looking forward to watching these two have successful senior seasons and are proud to have them join our Cougar family," Buscher added.

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