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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – With the 2017-18 season on the horizon, the Penn State women’s basketball program continued to recruit at a high level on both the regional and national scenes, as head coach Coquese Washington received National Letters of Intent from three prep standouts for the 2018-19 season during the early signing period.
“We are absolutely thrilled to welcome three young ladies who bring tremendous gifts to our program,” said Washington. “Lauren Ebo, Karisma Ortiz and Bexley Wallace are outstanding students and driven, competitive athletes who will add depth at both the guard and post positions. Lauren, Karisma and Bexley are poised to help us continue to elevate our program into one the nation’s elite.”
Washington and her staff saw NLIs from Lauren Ebo (Washington, D.C.), Karisma Ortiz (San Jose, Calif.) and Bexley Wallace (Pickerington, Ohio) arrive.
A 6-foot-4 post player from Washington, D.C., Ebo spent her first two prep seasons at Paul VI Catholic High School before transferring to Riverdale Baptist School in 2017. Ebo averaged 10.3 points per game over the final 13 games of the season for the Crusaders, adding 7.7 rebounds per game. For her prep career, she has amassed 405 points.
During her two seasons at Paul VI, Ebo helped her squad compile a combined record of 65-3, two Washington Catholic Athletic Conference titles and a pair of Virginia Independent Schools Division I championships. Her time with the Panthers was also highlighted by a pair of top-10 finishes in the USA Today Super 25 rankings.
The No. 54 prospect nationally according to ESPN.com, Ortiz looks to join a long line of successful guards to play under Washington. The 6-foot guard ranks as the No. 14 player nationally at her position, closing in on the exclusive 500-point, 500-rebound and 500-assist club for Archbishop Mitty High School in San Jose, California.
In her two varsity seasons, Ortiz has helped the Monarchs to a 51-7 overall record and an appearance in the California Interscholastic Federation State Championship Game last season. In 2016-17, Ortiz averaged 9.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game to earn All-Western Catholic Athletic League, All-Central Coast Section and all-state honors.
Wallace has seen success at Pickerington Central High School, as well as on the international stage with USA Basketball. A member of the USA Basketball 16U squad in 2015, she was a part of the National Team that captured the bronze medal with a 4-1 record at the 2015 FIBA Americas U16 Championship in Puebla, Mexico. She averaged 4.4 points and 3.0 rebounds per game in five appearances, including one start while wearing the red, white and blue.
On the prep scene, Wallace has helped Pickerington Central to three-straight Ohio Capital Conference Ohio Division championships and back-to-back regional semifinal appearances in the Ohio High School Athletic Association Division I state tournament. She is a two-time All-OCC honorable mention selection and earned first-team All-OCC as a sophomore.