MACON, Ga. – No. 13-seeded Mercer will take on No. 4 Georgia on Saturday, March 17 in the first round of the 2018 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament, as announced during Monday's selection show on ESPN.
The Bears (30-2, 14-0 Southern Conference) and Lady Bulldogs will clash at 1:30 p.m. Saturday in Stegeman Coliseum, in what will be a rematch of a Nov. 19 game in Macon at Hawkins Arena. Georgia (25-6, 12-4 SEC) was victorious in the meeting, 72-54.
Mercer claimed the program's first-ever outright SoCon regular season and SoCon Tournament Championship this season. The Bears earned the league's automatic bid after defeating ETSU in the championship game, 68-53, on March 4 in Asheville, N.C. Senior guard Kahlia Lawrence – the three-time SoCon Player of the Year – was tabbed as the SoCon Tournament Most Outstanding Player. Additionally, Lawrence and KeKe Callowaywere named to the SoCon All-Tournament First Team, while Sydni Means and Amanda Thompson were selected to the SoCon All-Tournament Second Team.
This will be Mercer's first trip to the NCAA Division I Tournament in program history. The Bears are currently riding a 27-game winning streak heading into the Big Dance. Mercer is currently ranked No. 25 in the AP Top 25 Poll and No. 23 in the USA Today Coaches Poll.
About No. 4 Georgia
The Lady Bulldogs went 25-6 overall and 12-4 in the SEC before falling to eventual SEC Champion, South Carolina, in the semifinals by the final score of 71-49. Georgia finished 14-3 at home this season and is currently ranked No. 18 in the latest AP Top 25 Poll. The Lady Bulldogs are led in scoring by Mackenzie Engram (12.9) and Caliya Robinson (12.6), while Robison also leads in rebounds at 7.7 per contest.