Samford Women’s Basketball is in prime position to make a run for the SoCon Championship, as the Bulldogs currently sit third in the conference with a 13-13 overall record and a 7-4 conference record. Wofford and Chattanooga are tied for first in the conference, so Samford has some ground to cover with three games left if they want to claim the SoCon regular season championship.
According to head coach Carley Kuhns, the key to the team’s success this season has been the preparation in practices and the adversity they have faced from stiff competition.
“Every practice is extremely competitive, and the team has not backed down at all,” Kuhns said.
Kuhns admits that during the preseason, the team struggled.
“They were a young team that needed to learn how to win while playing a very difficult schedule,” Kuhns said.
However, junior Macey Lee says that the team has responded to adversity “by coming together and never giving up no matter the team or score and fighting until the end.”
A key to the stretch run could be the health of the Bulldogs. Only four players (Alyssa Tarpley, Sussy Ngulefac, Kathleen Wheeler, and Emily Bowman) have played all 26 games. If Samford wants to make a run at an elusive NCAA tournament bid, they will need both the starters and the bench players to be in peak condition.
Anyone can look at the team’s stats and see that they’re full of talent, grit, and perseverance, but what you don’t see from raw scores is the true character of these fantastic young women representing Samford and their bonds with each other. The theme of this team is relationships.
Kuhns says that building and maintaining relationships is “equally as important to the players” and that “developing them as people is just as rewarding as developing them as players.”
Overall, Samford women’s basketball has an exceptional team this year, with top-end talent and a sense of camaraderie that has propelled them into contention for the SoCon championship. While the team has recently hit a bump in the road with two straight home losses to ETSU and Chattanooga, the Bulldogs will look to rebound Sat. Feb. 18, when they play Mercer at the Pete Hanna Center.
Staff Writer (Sports)