published Friday, November 29th, 2013

Foster's Mocs playing three in Hawaii

UTC women's head basketball coach Jim Foster watches from the sidelines during the Lady Mocs' basketball game against the UAB Blazers in this file photo.
UTC women's head basketball coach Jim Foster watches from the sidelines during the Lady Mocs' basketball game against the UAB Blazers in this file photo.
Photo by Doug Strickland /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

The 30-game home win streak enjoyed by the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's basketball team -- one of the top current streaks in the nation -- is safe until 2014.

The Lady Mocs begin today what will be an eight-game road stretch in four states. They play Minnesota tonight at 7:30 in the Waikiki Beach Marriott Rainbow Wahine Classic, then face Hawaii on Saturday before ending the three-day event against Colorado State.

They hit the road again for a Dec. 10 game at Jacksonville State. That precedes Southern Conference contests at UNC Greensboro and Elon before in-state trips to Austin Peay and East Tennessee State.

Coach Jim Foster's Mocs open the 2014 part of the slate with a Jan. 4 home game against Georgia Southern.

"I've never experienced anything like that," Foster said Wednesday. "It's a long stretch of games, each of which have different shapes.

"I think that nine hours on a plane will get us ready for eight hours on a bus."

The Mocs arrived in Honolulu late Tuesday night. They visited Pearl Harbor on Wednesday and went to a luau and a cultural show late that evening. As for their first opponent in the tournament, Minnesota presents a familiar foe for Foster from his years at Ohio State. He said the Gophers typically present a physical style of attack.

Minnesota is 5-1 after an 80-36 pasting of Loyola on Tuesday, with a three-game win streak.

"They're a very well-coached team, and a talented team," Foster said. "They have size and they have guards."

The Mocs aren't lacking in confidence, though, riding a three-game win streak of their own after routing Auburn 80-52 on Sunday.

"It's a positive note," UTC guard Meghan Downes said that day. "It gives us momentum going into Hawaii. We have three tough teams we are going to be playing, but everything has been going right for us. We have been working on it during practice. The past couple of games some things have gone wrong and we can't seem to get it right, but everything was clicking today. I am looking forward to our next game and playing as a team."

Contact Gene Henley at ghenley@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6311. Follow him at twitter.com/genehenleytfp.

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