When Samantha Williams took over as head coach for the Eastern Kentucky University women's basketball team she came in with the intention of bringing a fresh start.
The former Louisville assistant coach was inheriting a program that had just come off a season that could be considered the worst in program history.
The Colonels had a 2-27 record, including an 0-18 mark against Ohio Valley Conference competition.
EKU was the only women's team from an NCAA conference to not have a win against another Division I opponent. The Colonels only victories came against Kentucky Christian University and Brescia -- both of which are NAIA schools.
The Colonels were picked 12th in the 2019 OVC Preseason Poll and received just 30 points, 23 fewer than any other team.
Undaunted, Williams and the Colonels were determined to up their game -- concentrating on unselfish play, a strong uptempo defense and strong shooting.
"I tell (my team) all the time, 'the past is the past,'" Williams said. "Put that behind us and focus on moving forward."
The Colonels have done just that.
In just one month, EKU has doubled its wins from last season with a 4-2 record.
Eager to prove the naysayers wrong, the Colonels won their first two games of the season -- tying its win total from last season in just two games.
The Colonels opened the season by topping in-state rival Northern Kentucky University in their home opener before picking up a road win at the University of Memphis, 63-60.
It was the first time since Dec. 30, 2017 the Colonels had won a road game.
EKU was hit with back-to-back losses at Butler University (73-41) and to Miami (Ohio) University (75-57) at home, before bouncing back with two big wins to close out November.
Georgia-native Bria Bass scored five-straight points and knocked down a game-winning three pointer in overtime in the Colonel's 61-60 win last Sunday at Mercer University.
The Colonels followed that win by scoring the first 13 points of the game on its way to a 102-65 victory over visiting Alice Lloyd College on Wednesday at McBrayer Arena.
"We are a new team. Whether you are a returner or newcomer, it doesn't matter. We are a new team with a new focus. I've told them all year, We are going to be better than what people think. Just work hard and focus on the fundamentals,'" Williams said.
Samari Mowbray, who scored 11 points in the win on Wednesday, said the two losses this season have taught the team a lot.
"We had to work through adversity. After we lost, we got back in the gym and worked on what we needed to and now we are seeing the results… We just need to remember to go out and do us and we will get the results we are looking for," Mowbray explained.
The Colonels have a lot to work with this season.
EKU has switched its starting lineups in every game.
Williams said that will likely continue as the team draws from every individual off the bench.
"That's the strength of our team. We are going to be hard to beat because we are more than just our five starters," the coach said.
The Colonels had 67 points off their bench in the win over the Eagles on Wednesday and all 12 Colonels who played scored at least two points.
Anysa Jordan led the team with a game-best 16 points on 8-of-11 shooting from the field. Bass, Maleah Bell and Mowbray finished with 11 points each. Bell added a team-high eight rebounds.
Emma Hacker (nine) and Higgins (nine) scored their first collegiate points. Stanton, Jordan and Bell all set new career-highs.
Williams credits her team's chemistry and 'next woman up' mentality on the bench with the Colonels massive contributions from non-starters.
In just the first six games this year, the Colonels are averaging nearly 10 more points a game than in 2018-19 season.
"This is an unselfish team. It's great. They are very unselfish. They look for each and cheer for each other on the bench. That's is exciting to see as coach. We are very excited we got the opportunity to play a lot of people (against Alice Lloyd). We will continue to grow as a team and the players are not concerned with who is starting, they are focused on going out and getting the win," Williams said.
Bass said the close-knit team is determined to take the next steps together and support whoever is on the floor.
"As long as we keep cheering and supporting (our teammates on the floor) they feed off that. The louder we cheer, the better the motor and more wins to come," Bass explained.
The junior guard said trust and communication make for a "defensive nightmare" for opponents.
"We are lucky, because we are an extremely good rebounding team. Everyone on the team and in every position can crash the board. We also have some great shooters and we are starting to see the extra pass and our teammates… It makes it hard on our opponents, because if (one of our teammates) isn't scoring the next one will," Bass explained.
The Colonels showed off that scoring on Wednesday when they reached the 100-point mark for the first time since a 100-93 overtime victory against Morehead State on Jan. 30, 2016.
It marked the first time EKU has scored 100 points in a non-overtime game since beating Cincinnati Christian, 112-34, on Dec. 3, 2015.
The Colonels scored seven points in the first 57 seconds of the game and went in front 13-0 after a pair of free throws by Qay Stanton. The Eagles (3-4) missed their first five shots of the game and turned the ball over three times during EKU's fast start.
A 17-4 run late in the first quarter and early into the second quarter allowed EKU to build a 24-point advantage. After Alice Lloyd closed within 11, 22-11, with 2:14 remaining in the opening quarter, Anysa Jordan answered with a turnaround jumper and Maleaha Bell made a three-pointer to get the Colonels' run started.
EKU scored the first six points of the second quarter to take a 35-13 lead and then went in front by 24, 39-15, on lay-ups from Bell and Jordan to cap the run.
Alice Lloyd whittled the lead down to 13, but the Colonels scored the final nine points of the first half to take a 22-point edge, 53-31, into the locker room.
EKU shot a blistering 63 percent from the field in the first quarter and 55 percent for the first half.
The Eagles got as close as 16 points in the third quarter before the Colonels closed out the period with a 17-6 run to take a 27-point lead, 77-50.
The Colonels shot 53 percent from the field for the game while holding ALC to 35 percent shooting. EKU out-rebounded the Eagles by 11 and out-scored the visitors off turnovers 38-18.
The Colonels will look to improve on their winning streak when they take on University of Chattanooga Sunday at home.