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A new era begins at Iona

LOIS ELFMAN | 1/16/2014, 4:42 p.m.
So far so very good for the new women’s basketball coach at Iona College, Billi Godsey. A 2003 graduate of ...
Aleesha Powell Photos courtesy of Iona College

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Photos courtesy of Iona College

Head coach Billi Godsey

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Photos courtesy of Iona College

Joy Adams

So far so very good for the new women’s basketball coach at Iona College, Billi Godsey. A 2003 graduate of Hofstra, Godsey is one of several young female coaches of color recently hired for head coaching jobs in Division I women’s college basketball.

“I knew I was coming into a very talented roster,” said Godsey, who has been acquainted with assistant coach-recruiting coordinator Ashlee Kelly since both coached at Division II schools. “I’m one of the lucky ones. It was easy for me to get them to buy into what we wanted to do a little bit differently from last year and still play in a style they’re successful in, an up-tempo type of style.”

Iona had a good 2012-13 season, so Godsey came to a Gaels team hungry for more wins. She thanks the talented assistant coaches who help push the players to the next level, and she credits the players for being receptive to improvement as a team as well as self-improvement.

Undefeated at 6-0 in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play and 13-2 overall, on Monday night, Iona scored a huge win over the Marist Red Foxes, who have dominated conference play the past few seasons.

“They’re great kids who really wanted to turn a corner,” said Godsey. “They really are hungry for a championship. ... It’s a constant conversation. It’s an everyday thing of trying to instill in them to continue to play with confidence.

“Continue to play with each other,” she added. “We do a good job of spreading the ball around and moving and finding open shooters …. We’re strong, we’re talented and we have to be ready to go when the time comes. They bring a lot of the energy themselves.”

Two of the standouts this season have been sophomore forward Joy Adams and junior guard Aleesha Powell. Godsey said Adams is a great player who works very hard and helps pace the team. Adams is playing with great confidence and is unselfish. Powell, who is sharing time at the point with Haley D’Angelo, is solid offensively and defensively. She works to find open shooters who can really penetrate.