UTC returns to McKenzie Arena to tonight to face Kennesaw State

UTC returns to McKenzie Arena to tonight to face Kennesaw State

December 12th, 2011 by John Frierson in Sports - College

Tenisha Townsend of UTC brings the ball up the court during an exhibition game against Lee University on Nov. 1.

Photo by Alex Washburn /Times Free Press.

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's basketball team opened its season at McKenzie Arena against UAB. That was on Nov. 11.

Tonight, 31 days later, the Lady Mocs (4-3) will play their second home game when they host Kennesaw State (3-4).

"It's great to be back in Chattanooga," senior guard Tenisha Townsend said. "We've been on the road a lot and now we're finally back here in our home town, our home court and we're just ready to take care of business here."

Tonight's game is the first of three in a row at the Roundhouse in the next eight days. UTC hosts Belmont on Thursday and Western Carolina on Dec. 19.

The Lady Mocs' road stretch consisted of six games in 23 days, with stops in Texas, Indiana, Mexico and North Carolina. The last two games marked the start of the Southern Conference schedule and UTC overcame some rough spots to beat UNC Greensboro and Elon.

Townsend the constant leaving coming and going, packing and unpacking, was tiresome.

"Oh my gosh, yes," she said. "For a while I was like, once I got in I was washing clothes and then packing again. It was crazy and it was very tiring.

"But we took care of business this last road trip, and that made it even sweeter."

UTC built some momentum on its most recent trip after overcoming a 20-5 deficit to beat Greensboro 63-46 on Dec. 1, following by a 59-46 win at Elon two days later.

The Lady Mocs haven't played since the win over the Phoenix on Dec. 3. They've had exams and a few practices during their short break, and the time off -- followed by three straight home games -- will be good for the team, UTC coach Wes Moore said.

"These next 10 days or whatever, when we're playing at home, they'll be good for us," Moore said. "We can get some good practices in and it's nice that we don't have to worry about how they're doing in class or how a test is or whatever. They can focus on basketball for a couple of weeks here."

Along with UTC's long-awaited return home, tonight's game will be the UTC debut of sophomore forward Faith Dupree, the 6-foot-3 Tennessee transfer. Between missing a season with a back injury and her year on the bench after transferring, Dupree hasn't played in a collegiate game in more than two years.