Women’s basketball bounces back with back-to-back wins

The Mercer University women’s basketball team won the two conference games this past week. On Jan. 25, the Bears bested East Tennessee State University in a tough battle. This is the Buccaneers’ fourth straight loss to Mercer, and a great end for the Bears’ losing streak. All conference games are critical for the Bears, and any win can help boost Atlantic Sun standings. However, the win against ETSU was crucial for the Bears.

When asked to comment on the most important game they have played, junior guard Briana Williams responded, “All of the conference games are important, but [this win] was very important because it would have decided whether we moved up or down in conference.” The win against ETSU placed the Bears in the top five spots in the Atlantic Sun standings. The top six teams advance to the tournament. This top five positioning gives the Bears great opportunity for advancement before the conference tournament.

The Bears carried the momentum from the win over ETSU into their game versus rival Kennesaw State University on Feb. 2. The Bears came out strong against the Owls with a 13-point lead. Williams led the bears in scoring with a season high of 24 points. The 64-59 victory over Kennesaw was an intense, exciting win for the Bears.

In addition to the two win streak, the Bears’ junior guard Precious Bridges scored the 1000th point of her career. She was not even aware that she was close to the career milestone.

“It feels awesome. You really don’t have to prepare to make 1000 points. It’s just something that happens,” said Bridges. Bridges and the team are staying focused on the ultimate goal of a conference championship. She knows that the team is ready to do great things. She said, “The team meshes well. Everybody on the team is different, and everybody gives us something unique.”

The Bears continue to push every practice. They work on their fitness, execution and chemistry as a team. With each practice, the team progresses in skill level and chemistry. There have been a few games this season that were close, and the team just could not seal the deal. In order to do well in conference, the Bears are working on winning those tight situations. They know that conference will be tough, and every game is an important win.

“The conference is very competitive because we know each other so well. Anyone could win, and the games are usually all fairly close and come down to every possession,” said Williams.

Even though the bears started off a little rough in the beginning of conference play, both Williams and Bridges believe that the team has the ability and work ethic to get back on top. They are pumped after these two exciting wins to experience the madness in March.

The Bears next conference games are Thursday, Feb. 6, and Saturday, Feb. 8. They will take on Northern Kentucky University and Lipscomb University in Hawkins Arena.