published Saturday, February 25th, 2012

Lady Mocs seniors want to finish big

This doesn't seem much like the end for University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's basketball seniors Tenisha Townsend and Whitney Hood. Mainly because it isn't.

At today's game against Southern Conference co-leader Davidson at McKenzie Arena, seniors Townsend, Hood and Capriee Tucker will be honored. It's "senior night" despite the Lady Mocs (19-8, 14-4) having one more regular-season home game -- Monday against the other SoCon co-leader, Appalachian State.

"I think it might hit me more Monday than it will [today]," said Townsend, a three-year starter and valuable contributor during her entire career.

Townsend, a 5-foot-6 point guard, ranks ninth all-time at UTC in 3-pointers (127) and 10th in assists with 300.

There will be time for reminiscing on their careers later. For now, as the season winds down and the SoCon tournament approaches, what's on the minds of Townsend and Hood are finishing the regular season strong against Davidson (20-7, 16-2) and App State (22-4, 16-2) and getting on a roll before heading to Asheville, N.C.

IF UTC sweeps its final two games and Samford beats both Davidson and App State, then UTC, Davidson and ASU would finish in a tie for first. But a huge part of that equation is out of UTC's hands.

"We just have to worry about us and take care of business," Hood said. "We need to play well these last two games and carry some momentum into the tournament."

Hood, whose brother Ricky played at UTC, began her collegiate career at Clemson. The 6-2 forward transferred to UTC after two seasons, redshirted in 2009-10 and has been the Lady Mocs' leading scorer the past two seasons.

She led the SoCon in scoring last season with 18.8 points per game. This season Hood is averaging 12.8 per game, sixth in the SoCon, and has hit a league-best 50 percent of her shots, despite playing much of the season with a bad knee.

Tucker, a 6-foot forward who has battled knee injuries during her UTC career, has played in 13 games this season. Her career highlight was a 14-point performance in 16 minutes at UNC Greensboro that helped UTC beat the Spartans last season.

Today's game is part of the "Play4Kay" promotion that encourages fans to wear pink in support of the fight against breast cancer. Lady Mocs coach Wes Moore was an assistant under the late Kay Yow at North Carolina State for two years.

about John Frierson...

John Frierson is in his seventh year at the Times Free Press and seventh year covering University of Tennessee at Chattanooga athletics. The bulk of his time is spent covering Mocs football, but he also writes about women’s basketball and the big-picture issues and news involving the athletic department. A native of Athens, Ga., John grew up a few hundred yards from the University of Georgia campus. Instead of becoming a Bulldog he attended Ole ...

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