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Friday, June 21, 2024
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‘It’s been a perfect match’: Kirsten-Lewis Williams on her freshman season and coming to UB

Lewis-Williams was the second-leading scorer for the Bulls this year

<p>During her impressive debut season, Lewis-Williams averaged 11.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.5 steals per game on an efficient 46% from the field. &nbsp;</p>

During her impressive debut season, Lewis-Williams averaged 11.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.5 steals per game on an efficient 46% from the field.  

Kirsten-Lewis Williams originally planned on staying close to home for college, near her hometown of Mooresville, in North Carolina — until head coach Becky Burke reached out to her late in the recruiting process, and convinced the freshman guard that she would be better suited at UB. 

“I was recruited more by North Carolina schools, around there,” Lewis-Williams said. “But when Becky Burke reached out, I wanted to go a little farther than North Carolina. So I took a chance, and she took a chance on me. And I mean, it’s been a perfect match.”

She honored Burke’s faith in her by claiming the Mid-American Conference (MAC) Freshman of the Year award, and earned an honorable mention for the All-MAC teams. It was the fourth time in school history that a Bull won MAC Freshman of the Year, and the third time in the last five years. 

“We were on our way to the MAC tournament,” Lewis-Williams said. “Coach Burke was just announcing the awards for everybody, and she said the MAC Freshman of the Year was on the bus.” 

During her impressive debut season, Lewis-Williams averaged 11.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.5 steals per game on an efficient 46% from the field. Her durability also contributed to UB’s success this year, not missing a single contest, starting in all 33 of UB’s matchups. 

Lewis-Williams was second on the team in scoring this season, and tied for the team lead in steals as she was instrumental to the team’s success. Despite only earning the fourth seed in the MAC playoffs, the Bulls stunned No. 1 seed Toledo en route to the MAC championship game, where they lost to Kent State. 

“At the end of the day, winning the MAC championship is my final goal, but we made it to the championship game, so I think that’s amazing,” Lewis-Williams said. “I think that’s amazing, especially since this program’s in year two [under Burke]. We can only go up from here, right?”

Even with the loss, it was still a fulfilling experience for Lewis-Williams. As a result of their deep tournament run, the team also earned a berth to the Women’s National Invitational Tournament, the highest postseason tournament in the country besides NCAA’s March Madness. 

“Being a freshman and actually getting to experience [the postseason] has meant so much to me, and it’s progressed me so far,” Lewis-Williams said. “Just getting the minutes I get, it’s made me the player I am.” 

The freshman guard has always been sure of what type of player she is. When asked how her teammates would describe her, one word instantly came to mind. 

“Relentless,” Lewis-Williams said. “I just give everything I’ve got every game. It doesn’t matter whether I’m scoring or not.” 

That play style helped her throughout high school, where she featured for Lake Norman High School. Lewis-Williams earned an all-conference selection in each of her four seasons, steadily improving her game to collect the Greater Metro 4 Conference Offensive Player of the Year award during her junior and senior season.

Lewis-Williams referenced her parents as the reason for such a successful high school career and pushing her to start playing basketball. 

“My mom and my dad used to take us to the South Carolina games when I lived in Colombia,” Lewis-Williams said. “So watching Dawn Staley coach, watching them play, I mean, I started in the wreck and from there I just kept playing.”

In addition to her close relationship with her parents, Lewis-Williams described herself as “goal-oriented” while outlining what she hopes to achieve with the Bulls. 

“My personal goal is to be [MAC] First-Team, MAC champ,” Lewis-Williams said. “And I want to play in an NCAA tournament. Growing up, I always wanted the team I played for to be in there. People at home like my parents could just fill out a bracket and have us win it all.” 

Rodrigo Feijao contributed to the reporting of this article. 

Henry Daley is an assistant sports editor and can be reached at henry.daley@ubspectrum.com  


HENRY DALEY
henry-daley.jpg

Henry Daley is an assistant sports editor at The Spectrum. His work has featured on other platforms such as Medium and Last Word on Sports. Outside of the newspaper, he enjoys running and watching sports (when he’s not writing about them). 

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