No. 11 Lady Mocs Open NCAA Tourney vs. No.6 Syracuse

Game is Saturday in Lexington, Ky.

Monday, March 17, 2014

"We could taste the win in the NCAA tournament last year and we couldn't finish it. Now we have a second chance (vs. Syracuse)."

---UTC Lady Mocs senior Alex Black on UTC's opening round game Saturday with Syracuse.

The Chattanooga Lady Mocs have their dancing shoes on for the 12th time in school history and will face No.6 Syracuse in a first round game Saturday in the NCAA D-I Women's Basketball Championship in Lexington, Ky.

 The UTC-Syracuse game is set for 1:30 p.m. (E.D.T.) on ESPN2. The winner faces the winner of the No.3 Kentucky-No.13 Wright State game Monday in Lexington.

UTC (29-3) has never faced Syracuse, but did grab an 11 seed for the second year in a row.  The Mocs highest seed was No. 10 in 2004 when they upset Rutgers in the first round 74-69.  That was also Chattanooga’s only NCAA win in its previous 11 trips.

"We have a  great draw and I hope we can take advantage of it," said UTC senior and Southern Conference Player of the Year Taylor Hall.

Syacuse is 22-9, has won five of the last six and lost in the second round of the ACC tournament. The Orange opened the season 8-0 ,including wins against Texas, Texas A&M and Memphis.

UT won its 15th Southern Conference title with a 71-45 victory over Davidson last week. The Mocs are riding a 25-game winning streak.  This is Chattanooga’s 10th appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 2001, and the Mocs 29 wins tie a school record set last season.  

Head Coach Jim Foster is the first to take four women’s programs to the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Tournament.  Seven other coaches have taken three teams to the Big Dance.  He also guided St. Joseph’s (6), Vanderbilt (10) and Ohio State (10) to the NCAA Tournament.  This is the 27th time in his 36-year career he has guided a team to the NCAA Tournament.   

Foster is in his first season at UTC, but his 36th year as a Division I head coach overall.  He reached 800 career wins this season, the 11th women’s coach in the NCAA to do so.  His 36-year mark stands at 812-310. 

The 2013 Hall of Fame inductee is the only coach in NCAA Division I history - men or women - to lead three different teams to at least 200 wins (St. Joseph’s: 248, Vanderbilt: 256, Ohio State: 279). This marked his 27th season with 20 or more wins, tied for seventh most in Division I.

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