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St. Frances guard Hawkes commits to Xavier

Shatyra Hawkes, the 5-foot-3 dynamo who sparked St. Frances to the IAAM A Conference championship as a sophomore and led them to the runner-up spot last season as a junior, has made an oral commitment to play for Xavier.

Hawkes, who averaged 17 points and five assists last season for the No. 2 Panthers (26-3), said Xavier actively recruited her for a year and that she felt they wanted her on their roster more than any other team. She also liked their schedule.

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"They play a lot more competition than the other schools I was looking at," said Hawkes, who also considered Loyola, Towson, Radford, American and the New Jersey Institute of Technology. "I wanted to go somewhere competitive. I did see that they did good. They made the tournament and I thought it would be a good experience for me."

Xavier, in Cincinnati, won the Atlantic-10 Conference regular-season title last season and earned a No. 5 seed in the NCAA Division I tournament. The Musketeers (25-7), however, fell in the first round to Gonzaga.

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Hawkes, who is considering a career in nursing, played Amateur Athletic Union basketball over the summer with the Maryland Lady Comets. She said she worked a lot on her passing and wants to continue to improve her passing game with the Panthers this winter.

"Xavier said they would play me at the 1 and the 2 (point guard and shooting guard positions), so I'm focusing on my passing, because most games, I looked to score. This year, I'll look to pass more and if they need me to I'll get my points."

Unlike most players, Hawkes said she does not feel that the pressure is off just because she made a commitment. It's just in her nature to meet every challenge head on.

"It's like I've just got to work harder and not let up," she said, "because it's going to get harder from now on."


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