This season has been a big step in the right direction for the Eastern Kentucky University women’s basketball team this season.
After a 67-64 loss to Ohio Valley Conference foe, Tennessee State on Thursday and a 85-46 loss against Belmont on Saturday, the Colonels are 10-17 on the season and 4-12 in the conference.
This season has been a major turnaround from the two win season a year ago.
Head coach Samantha Williams is preparing to wrap up her first season leading the Colonels and said she has seen a lot of improvement over the season.
"I think they've improved in the belief system and understanding what it takes to win," Williams said. "We been preaching it a lot as far as work ethic and having a positive attitude."
Against Tennessee State, the Colonels opened the game on an 11-3 run after a layup by Samari Mowbray.
The third quarter was a quarter of runs and the two teams traded baskets until the Colonels took a 52-49 lead at the end of the quarter.
Tennessee State used a 16-5 run to open the fourth quarter on the way to the win.
Teri Goodlett led the way for the Colonels with 19 points and six rebounds. Bria Bass chipped in 13 points and nine rebounds off the bench.
Goodlett is one of the players that was on the two win team a season ago. She has seen a lot of improvement this season.
“That turnaround is a good feeling, but we still have work to do,” Goodlett said. “This year is definitely a huge turnaround from last year.”
“We are trying to forget the past and just move forward,” Williams said. “They are hungry to win.”
In Saturday’s match up with the conference leading Belmont Bruins, it was a story of strong shooting that led the Bruins to the win.
The Bruins shot 57.1 percent from the field and 100 percent from three point range.
Belmont was led by the sharp shooting of Ellie Harmeyer. The OVC preseason Player of the Year scored a game-high 23 points and 13 rebounds.
Goodlett paced the Colonel offense with a team-best 12 points and five rebounds. Bass chipped in 10 points and four rebounds.
Seven Colonels scored on the night including Goodlett, Bass, I’Liyah Green, Qay Stanton, Samari Mowbray, Anysa Jordan and De’ayra Davis.
Goodlett credits Williams for helping the team improve and building a strong culture around the program this season.
“She allows us to play within her offense. She wants us to attack, she wants us to shoot, she wants us to be aggressive and we needed that,” Goodlett said.
The Colonels hit the road to face Murray State on Thursday night looking to snap a three game losing streak. Tip off against the Racers is set for 6 p.m.
EKU has lost the last four matchups with Murray State.
The women’s basketball team will wrap up the season at McBrayer Arena on Saturday, Feb. 29 against in- state rival Morehead State. Tip off in Richmond is set for 4:30 p.m.
It was just a couple weeks ago when EKU traveled to Morehead and defeated Morehead State, 68-47.
“We’re going to play a team and make you do something that you don’t statistically do well,” Williams said after the win over Morehead State. “That
for them (Morehead State) is outside shooting so we just stayed in the zone.”
The Colonels will also be celebrating senior day against Morehead State.
EKU has one senior this year, Catie Kaifes. Kaifes has played in 18 games this season and averaged 2.9 points-per- game.
In her junior season, Kaifes played in 26 games and started 18 times. She averaged 7.9 points, 5.3 rebounds and scored a season-high 18 points twice. She also led the team with 18 blocks.
Overall, the Colonels are moving in the right direction this season and are looking to finish the season on a high note.