Northern Kentucky is ineligible for A-Sun and NCAA postseason play as it continues its transition from Division II.
But the Norse arent just taking their lumps in the meantime, as Mercer well knows.
The Bears trail in the series 2-1 and welcome a confident Northern Kentucky team to Hawkins Arena in A-Sun womens action Thursday night.
The Norse are coming off a huge win, 63-43 over Florida Gulf Coast, breaking the Eagles 44-game conference winning streak on Saturday.
Northern Kentucky is 7-2 in A-Sun play, holding down sole possession of third place behind 8-1 Stetson and Florida Gulf Coast.
USC Upstate and Jacksonville are next at 6-3.
Northern Kentucky is 11-9 overall, one of five conference teams with a winning overall record.
Northern Kentucky is third in the conference in scoring defense and scoring margin as well as field goal percentage, first in free-throw accuracy and fourth in 3-point field goal percentage.
Melody Doss is third in the A-Sun with 16.2 points and seventh with 7.7 rebounds. Christine Roush leads the conference with a 49-percent rate in 3-point shooting.
Northern Kentucky won 69-60 in its first trip to Mercer, on Feb. 23 last year.
Mercer is 11-9 overall and 4-5 in conference play, good for sixth place (fifth among postseason-eligible teams).
The Bears have won two straight after losing three in a row, with all five games minus all-conference guard Precious Bridges (appendix).
Sharnea Boykin is sixth all-time in the A-Sun in assists, and is 10th nationally with 6.7 a game this season.
Mercer welcomes Lipscomb on Saturday.