The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's basketball team is 2-0 in the Southern Conference after beating Wofford and Furman last week. The Lady Mocs will try to improve to 2-0 against the Southeastern Conference today in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
UTC stunned the women's basketball world with its season-opening 80-71 upset of Tennessee, which is ranked as high as No. 13 this week. Lady Mocs coach Wes Moore's message post game, and ever since, has been for his players to not to allow beating the Lady Vols to be the pinnacle of the season.
That message continued this week as UTC (6-1) prepared to face Alabama (5-1).
"It's great, don't get me wrong," Moore said of the Tennessee win. "It's something none of us will ever forget, but let's make sure that we're still trying to achieve goals and do some things that maybe we've never done here."
The energy and composure that UTC played with to beat the Lady Vols -- just 13 turnovers (to UT's 26), 56.3 percent shooting in the second half -- will be needed again today, UTC senior wing Kylie Lambert said, if the Lady Mocs are to get a second SEC win.
"I've definitely been thinking about it and that would be a huge accomplishment for this program," Lambert said. "We need to come out with the tenacious 'D' that [we've shown], and I believe we can do it."
While the initial buzz of beating Tennessee has faded, Lambert said she feels it whenever she takes the court.
"It's still in the back of my head every game," she said. "I just feel like we need to always come out and play the exact same way we did against Tennessee."
The Lady Mocs continue to receive votes in The Associated Press and coaches' polls. UTC and Alabama haven't played since December 2007, when the Lady Mocs led by 18 at the half and cruised to a 62-34 win at McKenzie Arena.
This is a much different Alabama program, Moore said.
"They're very athletic, and they're going to press you and really try to pressure the ball. They're going to present some problems, and we're going to have to play extremely well."
UTC's SEC run will continue on Dec. 19, at Auburn. Before that, UTC hosts Jacksonville State on Wednesday.
John Frierson is in his seventh year at the Times Free Press and seventh year covering University of Tennessee at Chattanooga athletics. The bulk of his time is spent covering Mocs football, but he also writes about women’s basketball and the big-picture issues and news involving the athletic department. A native of Athens, Ga., John grew up a few hundred yards from the University of Georgia campus. Instead of becoming a Bulldog he attended Ole ...