Snow was not a bad thing, as far as Susie Gardner was concerned.
Her Mercer womens basketball team had broken a three-game losing streak Jan. 25 and wouldnt play for a week.
Classes being canceled allowed for some extra practice time, and Gardner hopes to see dividends Saturday when Mercer hosts Kennesaw State in A-Sun action.
It was perfect, Gardner said. After we won Saturday, it was a perfect time to have off. We had the snow; we didnt have classes. We were able to have some teaching and tweaking and adding some things to our basketball vocabulary.
We were focused. It was a good productive week.
Mercer is 10-9 overall and 3-5 in A-Sun play, good for sixth place overall, fifth among teams eligible for the conference and NCAA postseason.
The Bears lost 63-62 on Jan. 25 at USC Upstate and won 57-52 at East Tennessee State two days later. Mercer led from 16:17 of the first half to 9:22 of the second half at USC Upstate, then was up by seven with two minutes to go.
The Bears missed their final three shots while USC Upstate made three, two from 3-point range for the advantage. The Bears had a chance for the win, but Alicia Williams couldnt get a layup to fall.
So Mercer spent a day talking, working and watching film. The Bears then played a similar game at East Tennessee State, although it was more back and forth and Mercer trailed more than it led.
This time, the Bears took the lead for good with 2:31 left and went 3-for-5 to the Bucs 1-for-5 down the stretch to hold on.
One of those misses and makes came from Williams.
We called the same exact play, Gardner said of the latter stages of both games. I was telling my staff, I cant believe I called the same exact play.
Williams missed again, but the second time around, she tipped in the miss.
Whats the difference there? Gardner said. Theres not a difference. Same play, same person, same shot. Theres no rhyme or reason sometimes.
Mercer will play its fifth game without all-conference guard Precious Bridges (appendix) but has momentum from the ETSU win as well as 30 points and 16 rebounds in the past two games from senior post player Kate Alemann.
The Owls are 4-15 and 2-6, tied with ETSU. Kristina Wells is fifth in the A-Sun with 15.4 points and fourth with 8.9 rebounds and sixth with 2.8 assists.
Kennesaw State has lost five straight, the past two by six points each. The Owls trailed Florida Gulf Coast by 14 in the first half and got within a bucket midway through the second half and were within seven with 4:31 left in the 14-point loss.
They always play hard and with enthusiasm, said Gardner, noting that effort against the Eagles. They mix up what they do. Theyve played teams really, really close.