published Thursday, January 19th, 2012

Mocs look to get a road win tonight at UNC Greensboro

  • photo
    John Shulman watches the UTC Mocs during a game at McKenzie Arena in this file photo.
    Staff File Photo/Chattanooga Times Free Press

Playing in the Roundhouse has been much more enjoyable for the Mocs than playing in another team's house.

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and The Citadel are the only SoCon teams that have not won on the road yet this season.

The Mocs are 0-8 away from McKenzie Arena. UTC (9-10, 3-3 SoCon) is on the road again for two critical Southern Conference North Division contests. They will play at UNC Greensboro (4-14, 2-4) tonight at 7, then play at division-leading Elon (8-8, 3-2) on Saturday at 7.

"I'm used to being on top all these years," senior Ricky Taylor said. "We're in the mix of it. We need to gain a bigger lead because we are UTC, and we need to win these two games and we should be at the top."

The Mocs are in a log-jam of four North Division teams with three SoCon wins, and the three wins came after UTC began the SoCon season 0-2.

But they're in a mid-season fight for one of two first-round byes to the SoCon tournament March 2-5 in Asheville, N.C.

"We looked at the standings on Sunday in our meeting and everybody is jammed in there," Shulman said. "I don't know if our young guys understand where we are, and that's why they need to understand the significance of every game.

"After starting 0-2, we worried about being in the hole, and now we're out of the hole and we have to take care of business on the road."

It's not going to be easy getting a win in UNCG's spacious Greensboro Coliseum or Elon's 1,500-seat bandbox known as Alumni Gym.

Greensboro is playing its best basketball of the season, especially since 28-year-old Wes Miller became the head coach one month ago. Last weekend, the Spartans beat the College of Charleston 73-66 in Charleston. Then they went across town and beat The Citadel 67-66 on a last-second dunk by Trevis Simpson on Saturday. They re-lived the final play, something Miller drew up during a timeout with 0.6 seconds to go, more than once on their trip home.

"We had a lot of fun watching all the reactions on the bus," Miller said. "We re-played it 30 or 40 times. We had a lot of fun with that."

about David Uchiyama...

David Uchiyama is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who began his tenure here in May 2001. His primary beats are UTC athletics — specifically men’s basketball and athletic department administration — and golf, which includes coverage from the PGA Tour to youth events. He also covers other high school sports, outdoor adventures, and contributes to other sections of the newspaper when necessary. David grew up in Salinas, Calif., and began working ...

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