MACON, Ga - Mercer opened up the second half on an 11-0 run to come away with a 62-52 women's college basketball victory over visiting Georgia Southern on Saturday afternoon at Hawkins Arena in Macon.
The loss halted a two-game win streak for the Eagles (2-5), while Mercer (3-6) has now won two straight. It was the 67th meeting between the two in-state rivals and the sixth straight win in the series for the Bears.
Mercer lead 30-23 at the break, then held Georgia Southern scoreless through the first four minutes of the second half during its run.
Georgia Southern shot just 28.4 percent from the floor in the contest. Mercer shot 44.1 percent from the floor and got a game-high 22 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks from Jaron Dougherty. Two Eagles finished in double figures as Nikki McDonald collected 14 points and Alexis Brown added 12 points - all in the second half.
Eagle of the Game
McDonald notched her second double-double of the season with 14 points and 11 rebounds - six of which came on the offensive end.
Georgia Southern cut the Mercer lead to eight, 52-44, with four minutes left and forced a turnover to get the ball back with a chance to cut the lead to six. But Mercer employed a half court trap and forced back-to-back turnovers, resulting in a pair of fast break layups to push the lead back to 12 points, 56-44, and clinch the contest.
Head coach Anita Howard on the play against the Bears
"I think we showed some good defensive possessions, but we just really didn't come to play today. We were coming off of two wins, and I think we got a little complacent. Our goal was to hold them to 55 points, because we saw when they scored 59 or fewer, they lost."
"We really went away from everything, I thought in our last two wins, we played well as a team. You look at the stat sheet today, you only had six assists as a team. We didn't get to the free throw line, and instead settled for a bunch of three-pointers. I don't know what it was, maybe the road caught up to us. Hats off to Mercer, though, they were looking for a win as well, and they held down their home court advantage."
Georgia Southern breaks for final exams, then travels to Ole Miss to take on the Rebels on Monday, December 16 at Noon in Oxford, Miss.