With home not being as friendly as normal, Mercers women go on the road in hopes of breaking a two-game losing streak and a Hawkins Arena slump.
The Bears visit USC Upstate on Thursday in the 14th meeting with the Spartans.
Mercer is 9-8 overall and 2-4 in conference play, a half-game behind USC Upstate (7-9) and tied for sixth place, fifth among teams eligible for the A-Sun tournament. The Bears are tied with Kennesaw State.
Mercer is one of five teams with non-losing overall records.
Mercer swept USC Upstate last year, winning 55-54 on the road and 72-55 at home. One constant in those two games was USC Upstates Brittany Starling. She scored 18 points at Mercer and 17 at home, recording a double-double in the second game with 14 rebounds.
Shes tied for 20th in scoring in the A-Sun this season, averaging 11.1 points and seventh with 7.8 points.
Three Spartans add between 8.0 and 9.8 points per game, and Shelby Hicks adds 6.0 rebounds per game.
USC Upstate has taken on some big names this season: Duke (a 123-40 loss), Indiana (a 87-38 loss) and Virginia Tech (a 65-61 loss).
Mercer will be without the A-Suns No. 3 scorer, Precious Bridges. The junior underwent appendix surgery a week ago and is still recovering. She missed Mercers losses to Stetson (72-60) and Florida Gulf Coast (69-57) last week.
Mercer has lost three of its past four home games and is 4-3 in road games (and 1-1 at neutral sites).
Senior point guard Sharnea Boykin has replaced some of Bridges scoring, with 15 points against Florida Gulf Coast and eight against Stetson, passing her average of 4.3 points entering last week.
The Bears visit East Tennessee State on Saturday.