When it came time to decide where she would play basketball next season, Nicole Lierly narrowed it down to three schools.
The shortlist read: Humboldt State University, William Jessup University and California State University, San Marcos, Lierly said.
On Thursday, in front of family, friends and both former and future coaches, she put pen to paper and signed her National Letter of Intent to attend and play basketball at San Marcos.
“It all came down to it just feeling right,” Lierly said. “I really liked the coaches and the basketball program. I also really liked the area and the weather.”
Lierly will receive an athletic scholarship that covers her books and tuition, she said.
San Marcos competes in NAIA Division I and was the Association of Independent Institutions champion in the 2011-12 season. The Cougars went 13-19 this past season, including a win over William Jessup.
Lierly said she will not redshirt her freshman season and will look to contribute as soon as possible.
“I’m really excited to get there and get to work,” Lierly said.
As a Lady Miner, Lierly was a two-year starter and was an All-Sierra Foothill League first-team selection her junior and senior years. As a senior, Lierly averaged 9.7 points per game, second on the team, 2.5 rebounds per game and 1.4 steals per game. The 5-foot, 9-inch Lierly is a crafty basketball player who can drive to the hoop and create her own shot and can also hit the 3-pointer.
“She’s a pure shooter,” NU head basketball coach John McDaniel said of Lierly. “She works on it non-stop, but it’s also so natural. People also don’t notice how quick she is because she is so long. And her range, this past season, we saw she could step behind the 3-point line and be effective.”
Lierly was also a key cog in the Lady Miners’ machine, which went 21-5 overall this season and earned its first SFL title.
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“It all came down to it just feeling right.”
— Nevada Union’s Nicole Lierly,
on her decision to play at CSU San Marcos