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Bears ride strong second half in blowout win over Hiwassee College

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Bears ride strong second half in blowout win over Hiwassee College

Courtesy of Mercer Athletics

Courtesy of Mercer Athletics

Courtesy of Mercer Athletics

Christian Hartley, Staff Writer

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Coming off a tough loss in the Paradise Jam Championship, the Mercer Bears(4-2, 0-0) looked to rebound against the Hiwassee College Tigers. By the end of the game, they had. The Bears used a strong second half to run away with it, 90 to 53.

Early on, the Bears could not put the Tigers away, as they have done to so many teams this year. Sloppy play from each team kept both offenses from finding their respective rhythms, with 11 total turnovers staining each team’s stat sheet.

With approximately six minutes to go in the first half, Mercer had stretched out their lead to 17 points, 34 to 17. The Bears’ relied heavily on the 3-pointer early on, which accounted for over 60 percent of the Bears’ points during the first 14 minutes.

After struggling to find their rhythm early in the absence of leading scorer Ria’n Holland, the Mercer offense began to hit their stride to finish the first half, shooting 68-percent from the field, including 57 percent from beyond the arc at the finish.

When the first-half buzzer rang, the Bears found themselves in complete control of a 19-point lead, 51 to 32.

Through the opening minutes of the second half, the Bears maintained their lead. It wasn’t until after the first few minutes that the Mercer offense found its rhythm and began to stretch its lead.

When the Bears’ offense finally found their footing, they never looked back. They used a 29-5 run to expand their lead to 40 with approximately seven minutes to go.

From start to finish in the second half, Mercer found itself in complete control. The Bears were dominant on both offense and defense, outscoring Hiwassee 39 to 21 in the second half.

With just under 3-minutes to play, forward Jaylen Stowe slammed home an emphatic dunk to cap off a dominant second half, and stretch the Bears lead to 43.

When the game’s buzzer finally sounded, the Bears had run away with a 90 to 53 victory, improving their record to 5-2 on the season.

Next up, the Mercer Bears will face their toughest challenge of the 2017 season to date. Wednesday, the Bears will travel to Knoxville, Tennessee to take on the SEC-powerhouse Tennessee Volunteers at 7 p.m.

The game is the first of back-to-back road games for the Bears, as they continue to prepare for SoCon action in the new year. The Bears will return home to Hawkins Arena on December 9, when they welcome the Rattlers of Florida A&M.

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Bears ride strong second half in blowout win over Hiwassee College