The Thursday-Saturday schedule in the Southern Conference can be a grind.
So far, the Mercer women have been just fine with the Thursday part of the schedule. The Saturday part, however, has been a bit of a struggle.
Mercer will try to change that at 2 p.m. on Saturday when it hosts Wofford. The Bears beat Furman 76-52 on Thursday to improve to 4-1 in conference play.
“We just have to really focus on the task at hand, the next team that’s up. Wofford is a good team,” Mercer junior Kahlia Lawrence said. “They’re pretty different than they were last year. They’re playing really well this year, and it’s going to be a task for us to come in and win another game on Saturday.
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“But as long as we’re focused and tuned into what Coach is trying to teach us, I think we’ll do pretty well.”
Mercer head coach Susie Gardner said her team will focus on the mental part of the game to get ready for Saturday’s game.
Mercer (15-4 overall) has won all three of its Thursday conference games, beating East Tennessee State 72-55, UNC Greensboro 77-64 and Furman. The Bears’ lone conference loss came on a Saturday to Chattanooga (74-56), and while they beat Western Carolina 59-57 on Jan. 14, they trailed 16-0 at the end of the first quarter.
“We’ve got to find some balance. We’re really, really good in preparing when we have three days,” Gardner said. “But when you have this quick turnaround, it takes a different type of practice and more mental than physical because this is how the SoCon is, so it’s every Thursday-Saturday, and we’ve got to become better at it.”
In head coach Jimmy Garrity’s first season, Wofford is 12-7 overall and 2-2 in the conference. The Terriers lost 57-54 to Samford on Thursday.
The Mercer men stay on the road Saturday, playing at 2 p.m. at Western Carolina. The Bears are 8-12 overall and 2-5 in conference play.
Mercer lost 68-66 to UNC Greensboro on Thursday, the Bears’ second straight two-point loss and their third two-point loss in conference play.