A little bruised and battered after a very physical game against Appalachian State on Saturday night, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga center Ashlen Dewart said she was looking forward to Sunday. No practice, no travel, no film study - a day completely off from basketball.
Those have been virtually nonexistent this month for Dewart and the Lady Mocs, who played nine games between Jan. 2 and Saturday, and just three home games.
"Our bodies are a little worn out," said Dewart, who had 12 points and 12 rebounds in Saturday's 59-55 win over the Mountaineers. "That's just part of it and you've got to be ready for it. We can take ice baths and stuff to help the soreness, but this week it's definitely going to be good to recover and to work on ourselves a little bit."
UTC leads the Southern Conference at the halfway point of the league schedule and the Lady Mocs (16-3, 9-1 SoCon) head into a week off riding a six-game win streak. And the streak includes road wins at Davidson (11-8, 8-1) and Samford (9-9, 6-3), and the victory against the Mountaineers (12-4, 6-2).
The Lady Mocs don't play again until they visit Furman this Saturday.
"It's a whole lot better when you're not going to play for a week, for the last taste in your mouth to be a win. We need [the break], though," Lady Mocs coach Wes Moore said Saturday. "I think the last day off was the day we traveled over to Davidson [on Jan. 17]. It's going to be good to take a day off [Sunday] and another one later this week.
Shin splints kept wing Kylie Lambert out of UTC's win at Samford last Wednesday, and she was limited to 22 minutes against the Mountaineers. But she was effective when she played, hitting three 3-pointers and scoring 11 points.
Moore said Lambert will likely take most of the week off to give her legs some much-needed rest.
The Lady Mocs will "work on themselves" in practice today and Tuesday. They may spend some extra time shooting after making just two field goals -- hitting 2 of 16 shots -- in the final 15:40 of the Appalachian State game. In the final 8:45, UTC did go 11-for-14 from the free-throw line.
"You saw, we struggled a long stretch there offensively," Moore said. 'We've got work to do."
And for the first time in a long time, UTC has time to do it.