The women’s basketball team is back in action on Friday in Brooks Gym, taking on their first opponent of the 2017-18 season, Cincinnati.

Last year, the Bucs were overall 16-14 with a conference record of 8-6. In a devastating loss to Samford 67-64 in the first round of the SoCon Tournament last year, the team is looking to make it back and go even farther.

Head Coach Brittney Ezell has been holding high-intensity practices with little breaks in order to get her team ready for the first game on Friday.

“We’re doing a lot of things to improve our individual endurance and individual intensity levels all within the team concept,” said Ezell.

She said she thinks that practices have been going good, and the Bucs recently had a closed scrimmage against a fellow Division 1 school that allowed the team to see where they were and where their skill and practice needed to head in order to be really ready for this basketball season.

Ezell recruited three new members for the team, two of whom will make starting appearances in the opening game. Erica Haynes-Overton (Nashville, Tennessee) and Britney Snowden (Pensacola, Florida), a junior college transfer, will start at guard and post respectively.

The other freshman joining the team, Alayjah Sherer (Tupelo, Mississippi) is expected to have significant minutes as well this season.

As far as goals for the season go, Ezell is trying to improve her team and get better day-by-day rather than trying to fix everything all at once.

“Winning becomes a by-product of doing all the right things in practice and doing all the right things as a teammate,” said Ezell. “You focus on where can I help the team and where can I focus on getting better and wins seem to come.”

With the non-conference games coming first, Ezell believes that their tough schedule right off the bat will help to prepare the Bucs for Southern Conference play once that starts in early January. For now, the team is working on focusing on the process rather than focusing on the wins.