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Edeferioka's departure means White tasked with taking the five

Jesse Saunders/The Chronicle Jesse Saunders/The Chronicle Anjie White (20) and Kelly Loftus (0) fight for a board against Navy on Friday. By Mike Rudin - SPORTS EDITOR

Last season, Elo Edeferioka was the main starter at the five for the Hofstra women's basketball team with 28 starting appearances.

But shortly after the 2014-15 season ended, she punched in the papers and transferred to Georgia Institute of Technology.

Edeferioka stepped up with a stellar performance (compiling 16 rebounds and 12 points) against University of Delaware in the 2015 Colonial Athletic Association semifinals match and took Hofstra to their first-ever CAA championship round.

“It is what it is in sports … so we have to go on and not drop a beat,” head coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey said about Edeferioka transferring. “You had your woes back in April, your emotion, your anger and it’s just, to business.”

It’s the biggest departure Hofstra has to adapt to for the upcoming 2015-16 season, but Pride player Anjie White is determined and up for the task.

“I think that I make my own place and I do my own thing, so I’m my own player,” White said. “I’ve definitely been working on my defense and playing defense without fouls and everything like that. I think that was one of my weaknesses last year.”

White came in last year as a new addition, transferring from George Washington University. She competed in 23 games, 12 of which she started for the Pride.

She’s made great strides during her first year in a Pride uniform, which exceeded her initial expectations.

“Coming into the middle of this [2014-15] season, I thought it was going to be bad but it was actually good for me,” White said about her progress. “I think last year was definitely practice for me. This year I really have a full season to play and help my team out.”

Anjie White did not get to step out on the court for the Pride until Dec. 21 against Boston College as a reserve player. She made great playing time as a reserve athlete, competing on the court at least in double-digits for 10 of her first 11 games.

White scored over 10 points off the bench in four games as a backup player. Two of those performances came in the last two games she came off the bench, scoring 12 against Northeastern and 16 versus University of Delaware in back-to-back fashion.

Once she got her first start on Feb. 6, there was no looking back with a total of 12 straight starts by the end of 2014-15. Her strength was scoring for Hofstra. White scored 9.5 points per game, which was higher than Edeferioka’s average at 9.2 per game.

White compiled 133 rebounds (5.8 RPG) in total while Edeferioka tallied 286 (8.7 RPG). Anjie White put her defensive skills as one of the priorities to focus and improve for this upcoming season.

She’s worked on her defense during the offseason with some help from her teammates and coaches.

“Especially with one of our close players, Sandra [Dongmo], with her being so tall and so big that’s something I practiced with this [past] summer,” White said about her work with Dongmo and Dee Thomas-Palmer. “Even at practice, we go at it and it helps me so much. At the end of the day, we’re teammates and I love them.”

White’s work with Dongmo – the 6-foot-4-inch defender – found it to be very useful to prep herself as the go-to defender for the team.

“She has the light to come in and get some rebounds, do some things in small minutes and build that as the [upcoming] year goes along,” Kilburn-Steveskey said.

Sandra Dongmo will be looked at as the second-tier player to compete in the five-spot when White needs a breather. Thomas-Palmer is also another Pride player that has played 86 games over three years as a reserve player.

Her experience will most certainly help in certain game scenarios but White and Dongmo will take the bulk of playing time.

There’s also the possibility of the new recruit, Kayla Minott, making her way onto the surface. The 6-foot-3-inch forward made a name for herself during her years at St. Peter Catholic High School since she won silver medals in back-to-back years at the Ottawa city championship.

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