AMES, Iowa — Call it a slump or a funk or a slide.
Call it whatever you want, but Bria Goss is ready to call it over.
The Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year hasn't been exactly feeling like her title lately.
Kentucky's guard hasn't hit a three-pointer since Feb. 16. That's five straight games without one.
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In her last three games, which included two in the SEC Tournament, Goss has made just four of her 24 shot attempts (16.6 percent).
So for Goss, there's no better reset button than the NCAA Tournament, which second-seeded UK starts playing on Saturday against McNeese State.
Goss hopes it's the start of the end of her slump.
"I was in the gym two or three times a day just trying to get my confidence back," Goss said of UK's free time between tournaments. "That really helped."
She has been through slumps before. And it was through those that she learned a valuable lesson: "Shooters can shoot their way into a slump and they can shoot their way out of a slump," she said.
She's going to try to forget that in the last three games she scored a combined 19 points, which is difficult to stomach for a player who has scored 19 or more points in a single game four times this season.
One of those games, a win at Georgia, was a breakout game for Goss, who scored a career-high 22 points. That's the Goss UK needs to see if it hopes to make a deep run in the tournament, Coach Matthew Mitchell said.
"We certainly need her to play better than she did late in the season," Mitchell said on Friday afternoon as the Cats (25-6) went through their final NCAA Tournament prep at Iowa State. "If you look back at what you might call some of our marquee wins, she was really good."
But Mitchell cautioned against getting too worked up over a three-game slide. He's told her to stop worrying about it, too.
"Sometimes when things don't go well for young players, they search a little bit too hard to find that answer," he said. "That's been a lot of Bria's struggles. She just needs to let the game come to her."
Goss's Kentucky teammates aren't worried about it.
"She's going to keep shooting it and I'm going to tell her to keep shooting it, even if she's missed a couple," senior point guard Amber Smith said. "I don't feel like it's a place she can't get out of. I have confidence in her that her shot will fall."
When Goss's shots don't fall, she's tried to focus on making sure her opponents' shots don't go down, either.
After all, she said, scoring a layup off of a forced turnover is way better than forcing up a bad shot.
"Every game, you're not going to have a great shooting percentage, but you can always contribute with defense. So that's what I'm going to focus on."
The freshman's struggles haven't carried over to the practice floor this week, Mitchell said. Her shooting percentages in practice have been good.
"She hasn't been playing like she lacks any confidence this week," he said. "I look for her to have a good tournament."
So does Smith, who also had a prediction on Friday.
"This slump isn't going to last long," the senior guard said. "I'm pretty sure she's going to be out of it by the end of tomorrow."