UTC (6-16, 5-3 SoCon) vs. WESTERN CAROLINA (4-19, 1-7)
2 p.m. Saturday at McKenzie Arena
Video & radio: ESPN3 & 97.7 FM/1070 AM
Storyline: Things have changed dramatically in recent days for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, which moved into a four-way tie for second place in the Southern Conference standings after a pair of impressive wins — in triple overtime last Saturday at East Tennessee State and Thursday night against UNC Greensboro. The 74-59 home win over UNCG was highlighted by a rousing rally and maybe the best half of basketball coach Katie Burrows' squad has played this year. Senior Lakelyn Bouldin shook off a recent shooting slump to score a season-best 25 points, and freshman Dena Jarrells added 14 points and seven assists. Western Carolina was 0-14 in league play last season but owns a win over Mercer this year, so facing these Catamounts shouldn't be considered a guaranteed victory. With a backcourt of Jewel Smalls, who has averaged 13 points and 10 rebounds per game, and Lauren LaPlant (10 points per game, 61 total 3-pointers), they are better equipped to stay close with opponents. UTC won the first meeting in the season series by seven points on Jan. 9 in Cullowhee, North Carolina, where Bouldin provided 22 points and nine of the Mocs' 17 made free throws.
What's at stake? A win obviously would keep the Mocs in no worse than a tie for second in the jumbled SoCon race and could, should Wofford upend Samford, put them in a tie for the top spot with five games left on their regular-season schedule with the last three at McKenzie.
Up next: The Mocs begin a two-game road swing by facing Furman at 7 p.m. Thursday.