Francis Marion University women's basketball coach Jeri Porter has announced the addition of 5-5 guard Alliyah Gillespie of Albany, N.Y., to the program for the 2017-2018 season.
Gillespie played the past two seasons at Niagara County Community College under the direction of head coach Nate Beutel. During the 2016-17 campaign, Gillespie averaged 14.1 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 2.5 steals per game. She was named to the first-team All-Region squad following both her seasons with the Thunderwolves.
As a freshman, she averaged 13.2 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 2.0 steals per game, along with a 30.0 percent shooting mark from three-point territory.
She led Niagara CCC to a two-year mark of 54-9 and a pair of region runner-up finishes.
As a high school senior at Troy High School, playing for coach Paul Bearup, Gillespie tallied 13 points and five assists per game, while converting 70.0 percent of her free throws and 45.0 percent of her field-goal attempts.
"Alliyah will be a great addition to our squad as an experienced All-Region junior college guard that will help fill the void of our graduated point guard TeTe Flowers," Porter said. "Alliyah is a great fit with her skill set. She is left-handed and can score from anywhere, but like TeTe her strength is getting to the rim. She is also a good defender and can thus help us on both ends of the court."
The Patriots lost only one senior off last season's 18-12 squad that placed second in the Peach Belt Conference's East Division standings. In Porter's two years at FMU, her teams have compiled 42 wins.
Francis Marion ranks 11th among all Division II programs in all-time wins with 853. FMU owns twenty-three 20-win seasons and has advanced to the NCAA Division II Tournament 10 times over the past 21 seasons.