St. Al’s Beaugh invited as DSU walk-on|[5/20/06]

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 22, 2006

St. Aloysius basketball forward Annie Beaugh has been accepted as an invited walk-on for next season’s Delta State University women’s basketball team.

Beaugh, who led the Lady Flashes to a school record 26 wins and the Division 7-1A championship in February, informed DSU head coach Sandra Rushing that she would join the NCAA Division II program in Cleveland in the fall.

&#8220I talked to Coach Rushing and Coach (Mechan) Vanderpool this week and told them that I wanted to play for them,” Beaugh said Thursday at St. Al’s athletic awards banquet.

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Beaugh made an impression during a tryout earlier this month in Cleveland.

&#8220She shot the ball really well and I know coach Rushing was impressed,” said Vanderpool who just took the assistant coach’s job under Rushing in April after Scottie Moore Batts resigned.

Vanderpool had been the lead assistant at Mississippi College, an NCAA Division III school, and had seen Beaugh play while she and her sister, Amy, were at Porters Chapel Academy in their junior season.

Both transferred to St. Al over the summer and helped lead Coach Drew McBrayer’s team to a record-breaking 26-4 season. Beaugh averaged 22.8 points per game and seven rebounds.

&#8220Annie came to our camp at MC and I knew then she was a great shooter. When I got the job here at Delta State, I asked if she would like to come up and scrimmage,” Vanderpool said.

Beaugh jumped at the chance.

&#8220Coach Vanderpool had talked to me while she was at MC. I was definitely happy to see her when I went up there to Delta State,” Beaugh said. &#8220The tryout went pretty well. The only thing was they have a lot of people back next year and there wouldn’t be much, if any, (scholarship) money available next year.”

Beaugh’s desire to play, and to be a part of a winning program, was too good to pass up.

The Lady Statesmen were 30-3 last season and won the Gulf South Conference championship for the 13th time. DSU won three AIAW national championships in the mid-70s under Basketball Hall of Fame coach Margaret Wade.

They won three more at the Divison II level (1989, 1990, 1992) under Lloyd Clark, now a Vicksburg resident and a former Warren Central coach.

Beaugh will be the second Vicksburg player on the Lady Statesmen roster. Former Missy Gator guard Shalonda Williams was a key reserve this past season as a back-up point guard. Williams, a rising senior, averaged 3.2 points a game. She is one of 10 players expected to return next season.

Vanderpool says Beaugh has the potential to develop into a solid player.

&#8220Offensively, she has the skills, but she needs to work on her quickness. But we’ve got drills for that,” Vanderpool said.

&#8220Yeah, I got the workout guide from Coach Rushing this week,” Beaugh added.