The Mercer and Chattanooga women’s basketball teams shared the Southern Conference regular-season title last year with Chattanooga winning the conference tournament and earning a bid to the NCAA Tournament.
The Bears and Mocs are right back at the top of the conference again this season. Mercer is 17-4 overall and 6-1 in the conference, while Chattanooga is 12-9 and 6-1.
The two teams face off at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday at Chattanooga. Chattanooga beat Mercer 74-56 in January, but the Mocs lost to Furman on Saturday, creating the first-place tie with the Bears.
“You can look at it a couple of ways,” Mercer head coach Susie Gardner said of the Mocs’ first conference loss. “One, they lost, and it kind of puts the future in our hands. Or you can look at it, they lost, and it’s going to get their attention, and they’re going to work on whatever happened that caused them to lose, and they could bounce back even stronger.
“Is it a good thing that they lost? I don’t know. But we can’t worry about that. We just have to play a lot better than we did the last time they were here.”
Home stretch continues
The Mercer men’s basketball team continues its key home stretch at 7 p.m. on Thursday against Furman. The Bears are also at home at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday against Wofford.
Mercer knocked off Western Carolina on Monday for its third straight win. The Bears improved to 11-12 overall and 5-5 in the conference with their win in head coach Bob Hoffman’s 300th game with the program.
Hoffman is 175-125 in his ninth season with the Bears.
“It’s been great. It’s been a great run,” Hoffman said. “I’m thankful for all the players that I’ve had and all the assistant coaches that have worked with us. I’m just blessed to be here at a tremendous university. The administration wants us to be good. They give us the resources to do the things we’ve been able to do.”
Georgia College’s women’s basketball team beat Georgia Southwestern State 70-41 on Saturday, marking Maurice Smith’s 100th win as the Bobcats’ head coach.
Smith has been Georgia College’s head coach since the 2010-11 season and went 22-7 in his first season, winning the Peach Belt Conference Tournament title. The Bobcats went 18-11 in 2013-14 and reached the tournament championship game, and they followed that up with another trip to the title game in 2014-15.
Smith’s first win as the Bobcats’ head coach came Nov. 12, 2010 against Anderson. His 50th win came Jan. 20, 2014 against Augusta.
Georgia College plays Wednesday at Clayton State. The Georgia College men’s team is 11-8 overall and 5-5 in the conference, while the women’s team is 12-5 overall and 6-4 in the conference.
Fort Valley State’s men’s and women’s basketball teams both went to overtime Monday against Miles.
The Fort Valley State men won 84-80 to improve to 10-11 overall and 8-4 in the SIAC. Denard Williams had a career-high 24 rebounds. The Fort Valley State women lost 80-74 to fall to 6-13 overall and 5-6 in the conference.
The Georgia College baseball team has a new coaching staff and a fifth-place ranking in the Peach Belt’s preseason coaches poll. The Bobcats received 94 points in the poll, placing them three points behind fourth-place Lander.
Jason Eller takes over the Bobcats after three seasons at conference rival Augusta. The Bobcats finished 33-17 last year and return Brandon Purcell (.349 average last year), Wesley Wommack (.340 average), Brandon Benson (91 RBI) and Logan Mattix (11 home runs).
Georgia College opens its season at home at 6 p.m. on Friday against Ohio Valley.
Madison Kosater, a former Mount de Sales swimmer, is a member of the Brenau swim team that was named a CSCAA Scholar All-American Team for the 2016 fall semester. To be selected as a CSCAA Scholar All-American Team, programs must have achieved a GPA of 3.00 or higher during the fall semester. Kosater is a senior majoring in history and political science.