UTC women to host Louisville in Burrows' debut
CHATTANOOGA (gomocs.com) - The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's basketball team will host Louisville in the season-opener on November 9 at the McKenzie Arena, first-year head coach Katie Burrows announced.
"We are excited to be playing Louisville on our home court," Burrows said. "Coach [Jeff] Walz and I agreed that it was only fair to begin the series here since we had to play them on their home court twice in the 2016-17 season."
Burrows will lead UTC for the first time as head coach. She was on the court twice against the Cardinals as a player, then on the bench two more times as an assistant coach.
The Mocs and Cardinals have met eight times since 1978 with UTC taking the first five. Louisville won each of the last three including twice in the 2016-17 season.
The two teams first met in the Northern Kentucky Invitational in early 1978 with UTC earning a 74-66 victory. Two years later the two would meet up again, this time on the Cardinals home court and the Mocs would once again come away with a victory, edging the home team 78-72.
At the end of the 1981 season, 20th-ranked Louisville traveled to Chattanooga and the Mocs threw down a convincing 108-72 victory at Maclellan Gym.
It would be two coaches and more than two decades later before the two teams would face off again. Once again the Mocs, led by former head coach Wes Moore, would be victorious winning 84-79 on the road in 2002 and then 68-65 at the Roundhouse the following season.
In the 2002 win, Burrows, then Galloway, had 15 points for the Mocs making three from beyond the arc and was 6-of-7 from the free throw line. The next season, she was 4-of-8 from the 3-point line with 14 points and added four assists and two steals in the win while playing 39 minutes.
In 2007, Louisville traveled to Chattanooga to take on the Mocs in the UTC Challenge with Jeff Walz in his first season at the helm. Current WNBA player Angel McCoughtry exploded for 26 points, leading the Cardinals to an 80-53 win and the championship.
In the 2016-17 season, UTC and Louisville met up in the third game of the Hall of Fame Challenge hosted by the Cardinals at the KFC Yum! Center. The fourth-ranked Cards beat the Mocs 63-47 with WNBA rookie Myisha Hines-Allen leading the charge with 10 points. She was the only Cardinal in double figures. UTC's Jasmine Joyner had a game-high 15 points in the effort with three assists, three steals and was one block shy of a UTC record with seven rejections.
It wouldn't take long for the two teams to meet again. The Mocs claimed the regular season and Southern Conference Tournament titles and advanced to the NCAA Tournament where Chattanooga would meet Louisville for the second time that season.
The 12th-ranked Cardinals ended the Mocs' run with an 82-62 win in the first round in Louisville behind a 27 point effort from Asia Durr and Hines-Allen. Durr will return for her senior season. Rising junior Lakelyn Bouldin led four Mocs in double figures with 16 points, making 3-of-4 from long range.
Last season, Louisville posted a 36-3 overall record for the most wins in school history coupled with the fewest losses. The Cardinals started the season at 20-0 and reached their highest ranking in school history at No. 2 in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll.
Louisville won the program's first ACC regular season and tournament titles and advanced to the NCAA Final Four for the third time.
"Their program is well-respected," Burrows said. "It's a great opportunity for our young players to host such a talented team."
The Mocs return all-conference starter Lakelyn Bouldin who was third on the team in scoring and led the Mocs from beyond the 3-point line. She will be joined by seniors Shelbie Davenport and Molly Melton along with juniors Arianne Whitaker and Nakeia Burks.
All-Freshman team member Bria Dial will return to the court along with sophomores Mya Long, Brooke Burns and Rochelle Lee. The Mocs have signed incoming freshmen Abbey Cornelius, Morgan Hill and Eboni Williams.
Season tickets are on sale now at the McKenzie Arena box office and online at GoMocs.com. Padded reserve seats are $125 and general admission seats are $100.
Purchase season tickets by July 1st to receive a 2018 season Mocs Flag, special edition tickets, be entered to win a signed basketball by the head coach, invitation to the exclusive season ticket holder event and receive a Mocs clear bag for arena use.