The Mercer Lady Bears may have been hoping for more this postseason, but that doesn't mean they are not excited to take part in the 2017 edition of the Women's National Invitation Tournament (WNIT).

For the second season in a row, the Lady Bears are headed to the WNIT as the regular season champions of the Southern Conference. They finished the 2016-2017 regular season with a 25-6 record and tied with Chattanooga for the regular season title.

Mercer came up just short in the SoCon conference tournament finals to Chattanooga but are ready to put that behind them and focus on the mission ahead in the WNIT.

The Bears tip-off the tournament with a game against Alabama Thursday night in Tuscaloosa.

"I think playing will help, obviously there will be some disappointment, but playing will help," Mercer sophomore guard/forward Amanda Thompson said. "We know the WNIT is full of great teams and it will be a great game and we know what playoffs are like."

"We play a pretty good schedule," Mercer head coach Susis Gardner said. "We played Florida State, Georgia Tech, (and) Georgia in the regular season. Going on the road to an SEC school is not foreign to us. We're excited about them and respect them and respect them and hopefully it helps us from last year being there and we'll take all the good luck we can from there."

Last year Mercer lost in the opening round of the WNIT, 73-56, to Georgia Tech.

Tip-off against Alabama is 8 p.m. Thursday night.