It’s been a year of transition for the Columbus State women’s basketball team, going to a new up-tempo offense led by new head coach Anita Howard.
However, the Lady Cougars haven’t skipped a beat.
One of the players who has been around for all of it, senior guard Britteny Tatum, is closing in on a milestone.
Along with fellow senior teammate Ashley Asouzu, Tatum heads into the final month of the regular season just a few points away from joining nine other players in program history to eclipse the 1,000 career point plateau. Tatum has 939 total points in her Lady Cougars career, while Asouzu has 927.
Tatum led CSU in 3-pointers as a junior last season, starting in 30 of 31 games in helping the Lady Cougars to their second consecutive Peach Belt Conference regular-season championship.
The LaGrange native and LaGrange High graduate is doing it all at the collegiate level just 45 minutes from her hometown.
“It’s great to have my family support,” Tatum said. “My parents and brothers and sisters come to every single game. It’s good to go home whenever I feel like it.”
Tatum has enjoyed both styles of coaching in her time as a Lady Cougar, from Howard’s fast-paced tempo to the more deliberate speed that former head coach Jonathan Norton used to direct his team. So far, both styles have had equally successful results.
“I think they’re both two great coaches,” Tatum said. “It’s been a great transition to Coach Howard. Coach Norton liked to run and gun, too, but only on certain occasions; he was more get it and go and was a more defensive-minded coach and liked to move the ball up the court.”
Ranked 13th in the nation in Division II, the CSU sports a seven-game win streak. The lone blemish on the 16-1 season is a loss at USC-Aiken on Jan. 7.
Last season, all-conference forward Michelle Mitchell was the centerpiece of the CSU offensive machine. This season, however, the Lady Cougars have much more depth, something Tatum enjoys being a part of.
“I think we have a lot of great pieces,” she said. “We have a great bench to go to. We have a great team bond and so many threats and weapons. We have so many different scorers. Anyone can step on the court and score, from the starters all the way down the bench. That makes a big difference.
“I think we’ll make it very far when it comes to tournament play.”
Tatum led all scorers in Wednesday night’s 103-61 blowout win over PBC rival Montevallo at the Lumpkin Center with 21 points before Howard emptied the bench in the victory.
“It was amazing,” Tatum said of the first triple-digit performance by the Lady Cougars since a 100-point performance again Tuskegee on Nov. 25, 2014. “We were on the bench and cheering. It was a great team effort. Everyone was knocking down shots (Wednesday) night.”
Tatum will graduate with a health science degree in May and will pursue a graduate school education in nursing after receiving her degree at Columbus State.
The Lady Cougars enjoy a rare weekend off before returning to action on Monday in Americus against Georgia Southwestern.