Women's basketball snaps losing streak

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Women's basketball snaps losing streak

(Alex Lockwood / Cluster Staff) Ariel Barnes looks for a shot against a pesky FGCU defense in a recent home game.

(Alex Lockwood / Cluster Staff) Ariel Barnes looks for a shot against a pesky FGCU defense in a recent home game.

(Alex Lockwood / Cluster Staff) Ariel Barnes looks for a shot against a pesky FGCU defense in a recent home game.

(Alex Lockwood / Cluster Staff) Ariel Barnes looks for a shot against a pesky FGCU defense in a recent home game.

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(Alex Lockwood / Cluster Staff) Ariel Barnes looks for a shot against a pesky FGCU defense in a recent home game.

After a long, hard-fought road, the Mercer Bears’ women’s basketball team recorded their first home victory on the season. The win over Kennesaw State in overtime was tough and will help the Bears as they transition into the offseason although Mercer has dropped their last four, making them 2-25 overall, 2-16 in Atlantic Sun play, as of Feb. 21. 

 Mercer 82, KSU 76, OT

The overtime thriller was thanks in part to a Mercer collapse in the second half. They led by seventeen at the break, but the Owls were not to be left behind, as Kennesaw State rallied back. The Bears outscored the Owls 13-7 in the extra five minutes, ensuring that Susie Gardner would see a home victory in her first season. Sharmesia Smith had a double-double with 11 points and 16 rebounds. The Bears shot over fifty percent from the field in the first half. Briana Williams scored 23 to lead the Bears.

 FGCU 76, Mercer 45.

Mercer was unable to follow their first victory in 2011 with an upset of the top team in the Atlantic Sun. The 31-point loss was mostly due to an eleven point deficit at halftime, and FGCU just applying the pressure in the second half, outscoring the Bears 40-20 in the closing period. FGCU’s Sarah Hansen and Kelsey Jacobson combined for 39 points, including a key 13 point run in the second half. Briana Williams had twelve points on the night for Mercer. The Bears did outrebound the Eagles 31-29, but they turned the ball over 23 times.

 Stetson 71, Mercer 62.

The comeback fell nine points short on Feb. 14, as the Bears dropped their second game at home since knocking off Kennesaw State. Stetson led by 16 at the half. Briana Williams had an unbelievable game, scoring 31 points, but it would not be echoed by the rest of the squad. She had twelve points in the late run that almost change the result. Mercer got as close as two points back, but Stetson finally put the game away with a little under three minutes to play. 

UNF 70, Mercer 49.

Going on the road, Mercer was unable to hang with North Florida, getting completely outplayed by the Ospreys. Briana Williams continued her amazing play, scoring 25 points, including 21 in the first half. Nevertheless, the rest of Mercer’s squad was not able to hang with her, or the Ospreys. After being tied at 28 going into the intermission, Mercer was outscored 42-21 by a truly superior squad. The Ospreys outrebounded Mercer 50-33, and turned the ball over eight less times. UNF’s Larkira Jones had 18 points and 16 boards for a double-double.

 Jacksonville 64, Mercer 61.

In their final road game of the season, Mercer lost by three to the Dolphins of Jacksonville. Considering how top heavy the Atlantic Sun conference has been this season, Mercer was finally mathematically eliminated from the postseason tournament that will be held in Macon. Mercer’s bench outscored the bench of Jacksonville 27-16, with Ariel Barnes scoring 13 and Amber Chatmon scoring eight. Mercer led by seven at the break, but they could not sustain the momentum. The young team has a lot to look forward to for next season, as Brittnee Hazel had 17 points and Sharmesia Smith added 11 boards. They would get as close as one with seven seconds left, but it would not be a storybook ending in Jacksonville.

The Bears finish the season with games against Belmont and Lipscomb at home on Feb. 24 and 26.

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