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Thursday, Dec 2, 2021

Women's Basketball set to return for 2021-2022 season

<p>Women&#x27;s basketball Freshman forward Ashlee Locke poses for the cameras during a pre-season photo shoot. Credit: Kayla Davis</p>

Women's basketball Freshman forward Ashlee Locke poses for the cameras during a pre-season photo shoot. Credit: Kayla Davis

After last season’s successes, Mercer Women’s Basketball will be looking for a repeat of their previous heroics.

The Bears have a chance to capture yet another conference title this season, so it’s time to take a closer look at the components that will take this team forward throughout the upcoming season.

Last season, Mercer won the 2020-21 Southern Conference championship after sweeping through Western Carolina, Furman and Wofford in the conference's postseason tournament.

Even before the post-season tournament, the Mercer squad was performing admirably. The team posted a 10-3 record in conference play along with a 19-6 record overall. This record included wins against both Tennessee State and South Carolina State.

Coming into this season, expectations are just as high. Mercer has retained some of their key players, including three of last seasons’ most prolific scorers, Amoria Neal-Tysor, Jaron Dougherty and Shannon Titus. Last season, these three averaged 16.8, 15.8 and 13 points per game respectively.

However, the Bears will be losing their leading assist providers, guards Jada Lewis and Jill Harris. The two averaged 3.5 and 3.4 assists per game respectively over 26 games last season.

Their departure may cause concerns regarding the teams’ playmaking ability. Both the veteran figures within the squad and the new faces will need to fill the void left by their predecessors.

Long-time head coach Susie Gardner is leading the team for her 11th consecutive season. Gardner has won the most games in Mercer Women’s Basketball history and will be hoping for further success this year.

The esteemed head coach has led the Bears to three conference championship titles in four years. This year, they will aim for four in five.

The team will start off their season with a tough matchup against Wake Forest at Hawkins Arena, which will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 9th. Two more home games, against Appalachian State and Troy, will take place on Nov. 11th and 15th respectively.


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