When many Mercer students left campus after Dec. 18, the men's and women's basketball teams stayed to play. Unfortunately for the Bears, the two teams combined for five postponements and cancellations in their games during the break.
The women's team went into the break with a 6-5 record after losing to UCF 47-61 on Dec. 12. The Bears bounced back against UAB on Dec. 19 with a 71-62 win, but by that time game cancellations for both squads began to roll in.
The Bears' next three games against Bethune-Cookman, University of North Carolina Wilmington and LaGrange University were all canceled due to COVID-19 protocols. From Dec. 20 to Jan. 7, women's basketball did not play a game.
On Jan. 8, the Bears played Chattanooga at home for their return to play and won 69-52. It was their first Southern Conference game of the season, placing the Bears at 1-0 in the SoCon and 8-5 overall.
Men's basketball had a similar schedule during the time frame. Mercer took down Georgia Southern by a score of 77-68 on Dec. 11 to head into the break with a 7-4 record. Then, on Dec. 19 and Dec. 22, the Bears fell to Florida Gulf Coast 55-67 and Troy 65-69.
The Bears' next two games against The Citadel on Dec. 29 and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga on Jan. 1 were both postponed due to COVID-19 protocols. These two games would have been the first of the season in the Southern Conference for the Bears. The SoCon will attempt to reschedule these games in the future, according to Mercer.
In their first two SoCon games after returning, the Bears took down Samford 83-80 on Jan. 5 before losing to Furman 66-81 on Jan 8. The men are now 8-7 overall and 1-1 in the conference.
The women's team will play at the University of North Carolina Greensboro Jan. 13 for their next game while the men's team will play the Virginia Military Institute at home Jan. 13.
Keith Holmes Jr. ‘22 is a journalism and creative writing double major who has worked with The Cluster as general staff since his Sophomore year. Keith has received Best in SNO awards for his sports articles along with years of work at Mercer’s ESPN3 branch. Keith spends his free time playing video games and writing fiction around campus.