Mocs look to shake road blues

Mocs look to shake road blues

January 21st, 2012 by David Uchiyama in Sports - College

Road Blocked

Under coach John Shulman, UTC has never gone this late in the season without a win on the road. Here's a look at the Mocs' first road wins each season under Shulman.

Season Date Game

2004-05 Dec. 5 at Tennessee, 69-68

2005-06 Jan. 16 at Appalachian State, 73-57

2006-07 Nov. 21 at Ball State, 70-55

2007-08 Jan. 3 at Wofford, 85-78

2008-09 Dec. 20 at Mississippi Valley St., 65-61

2009-10 Dec. 1 at Jacksonville State, 80-71

2010-11 Nov. 17 at Kennesaw State, 73-69

This year none Next game tonight at Elon

* Neutral-court games not included

Even the U.S. Postal Service hasn't been this late before.

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga has gone 46 calendar weeks without winning a men's basketball game on the road.

And the Mocs never have gone this late in a season without a road victory under eighth-year head coach John Shulman. They're 0-9 this season in opponents' buildings.

"The road is a different animal," Shulman said Friday via cell phone. "My second year [as an assistant] at East Tennessee State, we went undefeated on the road in the league. That was by far our most unbelievable accomplishment -- and we'd been to NCAA tournaments."

The Mocs earned their first road wins under Shulman twice in November, three times in December and twice in January.

If the Mocs do not win at Elon tonight, the winless road streak will stretch into February with a road swing to Appalachian State and Davidson to open the month.

"Special teams win on the road," Shulman said. "We have to get over the hump and make a few more plays. We haven't done enough. If we had done enough, we would have pulled off one of these."

Three of the Mocs' losses this season were at Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee. Now 0-4 in SoCon road games, they lost 81-70 at Samford last Saturday and 81-72 at UNC Greensboro on Thursday.

UTC had chances to win those games -- and a couple other road contests -- but failed to make winning plays. The Mocs were down two with a minute to play Thursday and trailed by two at Samford with three minutes to play.

"It still gives us confidence and it's still encouraging because we're not getting blown out," said senior Ricky Taylor, who had 18 points Thursday. "We went on a run, and we let them go on a a run. It was an up-and-down night."

It ended with the Spartans (4-14, 3-3) up and the Mocs (9-11, 3-4) down as they drove about 30 minutes from Greensboro to Elon, where they met Friday morning and practiced around lunchtime before study hall and team meetings.

"We hit the 'Refresh' button today," Taylor said after practice. "We got back to the basics. That refresh was well-needed."

The Mocs may be without sophomore forward Zaccheus Mason, who "tweaked" a knee Thursday and did not practice Friday. Shulman said Mason is "50-50, who knows?" for tonight's game.