CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. --- University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's basketball head coach Jim Foster announced the release of the 2017-18 schedule that includes 13 home games and a pair of road tournaments.
The Mocs will travel to Nashville after Thanksgiving to take on Georgetown, Northwestern and Auburn at the Challenge in Music City. Just before Christmas, UTC will return its game with Florida in the Gator Holiday Classic before taking on Princeton.
Just before the Thanksgiving break, the Mocs will travel to Indiana for its third game against the Hoosiers in three years.
"It's becoming more and more difficult to schedule 'Power 5' opponents," Foster said. "Those leagues have set certain parameters they allow their schools to play. Anytime you get an opportunity to play them, you jump at it."
Chattanooga will take on three teams from last year's Mid-Major Top 25. UTC opens the season on the road at Green Bay on November 11. The Phoenix finished the season ranked fourth in the College Insider Mid-Major Top 25 and advanced to a 17th NCAA Tournament after winning the Horizon League Tournament.
Four days later the Mocs travel to Stetson. The Hatters, winners of the Atlantic Sun regular season title, were ranked 17th in the poll. SU fell to Florida Gulf Coast in the ASUN Tournament finals. FGCU, ranked 10th in the College Insider Poll, advanced to the NCAA Tournament after beating Stetson, and lost a heartbreaker, 62-60 to Miami in the first round.
"Green Bay and Florida Gulf Coast are always to be respected," Foster said. "They are perineal NCAA Tournament teams."
The Mocs home slate is highlighted by a matchup with Virginia Tech and the home-opener against Central Florida in Maclellan Gym. Other non-conference home court matchups include Presbyterian, UT Martin and Hampton.
The Mocs will host all seven Southern Conference opponents as they seek a sixth consecutive Southern Conference regular season title.
"I think the conference has some very good coaches, evolving programs," Foster said. "The freshman at Greensboro, obviously, will be a sophomore, carrying that team. Samford, Mike's teams are always well drilled, well coached."
Mercer, ranked 18th in the College Insider poll, finished the season tied with UTC for the regular season title and runner-up to Chattanooga in the SoCon Tournament.
"ETSU and Mercer have significant talent. I think the league is always improving," Foster said. "The trip to Furman and Wofford is always a tough one. Wofford has a new coach and a new facility and they will be excited about playing in it. Western Carolina has a lot returning and when that's the case, you have the chance to be good fast."
Chattanooga will begin the SoCon season at home against UNCG and Western Carolina and finish out on the road at Mercer and Samford. The league tournament will begin March 1 at the U.S. Cellular Center in Asheville, N.C.
The Mocs return three starters from last year's championships squad
"We're looking forward to the opportunity for this young team to get old real quick."