published Saturday, January 28th, 2012

Lady Mocs try to shed ‘funk’

Like a golfer who bogeys the final two holes on the front nine and makes the turn in a sour mood, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women’s basketball team is less than thrilled as it begins the second half of its Southern Conference schedule.

The Lady Mocs (13-6, 8-2) left town last Friday with an 8-0 SoCon record. They returned late Monday night with two league losses at the halfway point following disappointing defeats at Appalachian State and Davidson.

“Losing’s miserable,” UTC coach Wes Moore said. “I thought we were playing pretty well and had some momentum.”

The Lady Mocs kick off their closing 10-game stretch late this afternoon against UNC Greensboro (3-15, 2-8), which has lost 11 of its last 12 games.

Moore said after Monday’s loss to Davidson that his team was “in a funk.” It was the Lady Mocs’ fifth game since Dec. 13, and they weren’t shooting very well from the perimeter or rebounding at their usual level. They needed a breather and got it this week, not practicing Tuesday or Thursday.

“We needed it,” wing Kylie Lambert said.

The team’s final 10 games feature six at McKenzie Arena, including a closing set against Davidson and Appalachian State that could decide the SoCon championship. The Mountaineers (14-3, 8-1) are in first place, with UTC and Davidson (12-7, 8-2) right behind them.

“We start the second half and we’re still in the hunt,” Moore said. “We’ve got more home games than road games left, which is good, but if we don’t box out [UTC was outrebounded by ASU and Davidson] it doesn’t matter where we play.”

While UTC would obviously prefer to still be unbeaten in league play, Lambert said the Lady Mocs are in a good spot heading into the second half of the schedule.

“We definitely do feel good about where we’re at because we’ve got those home games during the long stretch at the end of the season,” she said. “It’s really nice to be at home for those games.”

Quite a few of the program’s all-time greats will be at the arena today during UTC Legends Weekend. Among the former Lady Mocs expected at today’s game is Regina Kirk, UTC’s leader in scoring and rebounding, who last year was inducted into the SoCon Hall of Fame.

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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