Basketball players

Meet the Seven USU Women’s Basketball Players Honored at Senior Night


LOGAN — Utah State Women’s Basketball wrapped up its regular season at home with a win over Fresno State on Wednesday night. They enter the Mountain West tournament 5-13 in the conference. They will face Fresno State on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. in the first round of the tournament in Las Vegas.

This season, the Aggies were led by seven seniors – 2 veteran Aggies and 5 newcomers. Meet the Utah State Women’s Basketball Seniors:

Emmie Harris:

Senior captain Emmie Harris has appeared in more games than any Aggie in history. The Kentucky native played 137 games in navy and blue over her five-year career.

Harris joined the Aggies in 2017 and has since registered 589 points and 228 assists. She leaves Utah State ranked 10th all-time in assists. Harris is a four-time recipient of the Academic All-Mountain West (2018, 2019, 2020, 2021) and Mountain West Scholar-Athlete (2018, 2019, 2020, 2021) awards. When asked what she would miss most about playing for the Aggies, she said, “I will of course miss the team, and the HURD. I just play in the ‘Spec’.

This spring, Harris will graduate from Utah State with a degree in biology. Harris will take the next year to study for the MCAT and then attend medical school in 2024. You can read more about her here.

Emmie Harris at a senior night out with her family and coach Kayla Ard.

E’Lease Stafford:

E’Lease Stafford transferred to Utah State this season after a three-year tenure at East Tennesee State. Throughout her career, she has accumulated over 1000 points in 104 games.

During her freshman year at East Tennesee State, Stafford was nominated to the All-Southern Conference preseason team. She averaged 10.7 points and 4.2 rebounds per game as a sophomore for the Buccaneers. Stafford recorded a season-high 17 points on his senior night against Fresno State.

She finished her career with 248 points and 162 rebounds in the Aggie Book of Records. Stafford plans to earn his master’s degree in exercise science.

Asked about her post-graduate plans, Stafford said, “I want to play overseas, but for now I’m taking it day by day.”

E’lease Stafford poses with coach Kayla Ard and her family on senior night.

Kaylin Randhawa:

After three years and 81 games at the University of the Pacific, Kaylin Randhawa moved to Logan. In his freshman and senior year at Utah State, Randhawa led his team in steals and recorded a career-high 28 points against Cal St. Fullerton in November.

Throughout her career, the California native has recorded over 800 points and 150 assists. Randhawa finished the season shooting 83% (85-102) from the charity strip. Randhawa plans to pursue a master’s degree in education.

You can learn more about here.

Kaylin Randhawa poses with her family and coaches on senior night.

Laci Hawthorne:

A native of Toronto, Laci Hawthorne began her career at the junior college level and ended it as a Division I athlete. She proved to be an asset to each of her teams.

In his freshman year, Hawthorne led New Mexico Junior College to a second-place national finish. At Murray State, Hawthorne appeared in all 54 games and earned a spot on the Ohio-Valley Conference Newcomer Team for the 2019-20 season. Hawthorne racked up 126 rebounds and 193 points throughout his time at Logan. She is pursuing a master’s degree in sports management and hopes to start her career in broadcasting after graduation.

Laci Hawthorne hugs her parents on senior night

Manna Mensah:

Manna Mensah, like teammate Laci Hawthorne, began her career at the junior college level, transferred to Murray State for two years, and spent her final year of eligibility at Utah State.

Mensah was dominant at the junior collegiate level. At Grayson College, she led her division (NTJCAC) in scoring in both her freshman (17.6) and sophomore year (17.9). She scored 1,064 points and 352 rebounds at the junior college level before transferring to Murray State in 2020. There, Mensah finished the season shooting 40.9 percent (54 of 132) from the field.

As an Aggie, Mensah played in 22 games and recorded 132 points. Asked about her post-graduation plans, Mensah said, “I want to work in education. I don’t know where yet but definitely somewhere to help underprivileged children develop their character.

Manna Mensah kisses coach Kayla Ard during seniors night.

Shyla Latone:

Shyla Latone only spent two seasons on the court for the Aggies, but her three-point shooting quickly earned her a spot in the record books. Latone transferred to Utah State in 2019 from Cleveland State where she played just 14 games.

As a redshirt sophomore, Laton tied the USU record for most 3-pointers in a single game (9). She was one of two Aggies to play every game that season. Latona also holds three of the eight best single-game performances behind the arc in Utah State history. Latona is a one-time recipient of the Academic All-Mountain West Award (2021).

Asked about her plans after graduation, Latona said, “I want to play overseas and work my way up to eventually get drafted to the WNBA. It’s my goal.”

Shyla Latone poses with her family and coaches on senior night.

Taylor Franson:

Taylor Franson, the daughter of Utah State All-Century basketball team member Eric Franson, spent her entire five-year career at Utah State. Since 2017, Franson has played in 98 games and recorded over 280 rebounds and over 150 points.

Franson recorded a career-high 14 points and a career-high 13 rebounds in his junior year against New Mexico. Fanson is a three-time recipient of the Academic All-Mountain West award (2018, 2020, 2021) and a two-time recipient of the Mountain West Scholar-Athlete award (2020, 2021).

She graduated in 2021 with degrees in English and Journalism and is currently pursuing a Masters in English. Franson is getting married to her partner in May and hopes to move to Hawaii.

Taylor Franson with her family and coach Kayla Ard at a senior night.