Men’s basketball leads Atlantic Sun with 6-1 conference record

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Patrick Hobbs / Cluster Staff

Patrick Hobbs / Cluster Staff
Patrick Hobbs / Cluster Staff

With the 2013-2014 season underway, Mercer men’s basketball team holds a 15-5 record.

The team has gained several big wins, including an 83-46 blowout against Kennesaw State University on Jan. 10.

Following the victory over Kennesaw, the Bears are off to their best start in the Atlantic Sun Conference play in over a decade. Senior Bud Thomas scored a game-high 18 points against the Owls, and senior Jakob Gollon scored his 1000th career point.

Mercer’s 37 point lead over Kennesaw State was its seventh win by 20 or more points this season. Mercer has won 26 games by 20 or more points over the past five seasons.

Ike Nwamu hit a huge windmill dunk against the Owls, landing him the No. 6 spot on SportsCenter’s Top-10 segment.

“I feel like we’ve had a pretty good season so far with some great wins,” Nwamu said. “We have done a good job staying together as a team, and that has helped us in some tough situations.”

One of the Bear’s biggest accomplishments came about after winning nine non-conference games to set a school record.

With the return of four starters from the team that took the Atlantic Sun’s regular-season victory last year, many fans expected an excellent start and a strong finish to the 2013-2014 season.

Grant Bradley has been going to Mercer basketball games for years. He is an avid fan and always has a good time cheering on the team. “I enjoy it, not only for the social aspect, but Mercer is actually very good,” said Bradley. “I’ve been to nearly every home game over the past few years, and I will continue to do so for as long as possible.”

Although many students traveled home for Christmas, the Bears did not stop for the holidays. Only suffering one loss, Mercer added five more wins during the Christmas break. Since then, they have collected several more wins to add to their record.

The team is satisfied with their results this far into the season, and plan on continuing their hard work to close out the year.

Junior Tj Hallice said, “From the beginning of the season, our overall goal has been to win the A-Sun tournament and go to the big dance. We will work to get better every day and take it one game at a time.”

Ike Nwamu expects a successful end to the season, with the expectation of winning regular season conference, as well as the conference tournament. “We are fully capable of making an NCAA tournament run, we just have to remain focused and treat every game like it’s the biggest game of the season, and I think we’ll be fine,” said Nwamu.

The Bears have 11 season games remaining and will continue their action at Hawkins Arena on Jan. 23 where they will face off against Florida Gulf Coast.