The Mercer women's basketball team has accomplished so much this season, but the Bears insist they aren't satisfied.
And they are ready to turn their focus to what's next, just like they have done all season.
What's next is a game with UNC Greensboro on Thursday in the first round of the Southern Conference Tournament in Asheville, North Carolina. The Bears have the No. 1 seed after sharing the regular-season title with Chattanooga, while UNC Greensboro was 0-14 in conference play.
"We just have to look at it the way we have looked at the whole season," sophomore standout Kahlia Lawrence said. "(Head coach Susie Gardner) is always talking about the next moment and staying in the moment. As long as we keep the same focus we have had the whole year, we'll be pretty good."
The Bears finished 22-7 overall and 12-2 in conference play. Mercer lost in the semifinals last year in its first trip to the Southern Conference Tournament, and sophomore point guard Sydni Means said the team is motivated by that.
"We realize that we have done something big, but we also need to realize that there is more to come," Means said. "Thursday is a very big game for us, but I have absolute certainty with this team. I love playing for them. I believe in every single one of us, and I think we can accomplish anything, especially with this team because we have so much heart."
The Bears won six conference games by single digits, including an 86-78 win in overtime at UNC Greensboro (8-21) to open conference play. The Bears then beat the Spartans 81-47 in February.
UNC Greensboro is led by senior guard Lucy Mason, who averaged 22.7 points per game, and junior forward Jade Scaife, who had two double-doubles against Mercer.
"We were lucky to get out of there alive," Gardner said of the Bears' overtime win at UNC Greensboro. "They have Lucy Mason, who is one of the best players in the league. She has Kahlia-like abilities in terms that she could go off and have a great offensive game. Scaife is tough on the inside, as well.
"I'm sure they're hungry. I'm sure they're anxious to try to get that win. And they all know that everything starts over again."