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Bears say goodbye to Seniors in loss to North Texas

The+six+Mercer+Bears+seniors+after+their+victory+over+Western+Carolina+%28left+to+right%29+Demetre+Rivers%2C+Desmond+Ringer%2C+Stephon+Jelks%2C+Ria%27n+Holland%2C+Jordan+Strawberry+and+Rashad+Lewis.+Photo+by+Christian+Hartley.
The six Mercer Bears seniors after their victory over Western Carolina (left to right) Demetre Rivers, Desmond Ringer, Stephon Jelks, Ria'n Holland, Jordan Strawberry and Rashad Lewis. Photo by Christian Hartley.

The six Mercer Bears seniors after their victory over Western Carolina (left to right) Demetre Rivers, Desmond Ringer, Stephon Jelks, Ria'n Holland, Jordan Strawberry and Rashad Lewis. Photo by Christian Hartley.

The six Mercer Bears seniors after their victory over Western Carolina (left to right) Demetre Rivers, Desmond Ringer, Stephon Jelks, Ria'n Holland, Jordan Strawberry and Rashad Lewis. Photo by Christian Hartley.

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Mercer men’s basketball ran into a freight train in the form of North Texas in 96-67 loss in the second round of the College Basketball Invitational. The Mean Green came out firing on all cylinders, leading Mercer for 38 of the game’s 40 total minutes.

Jordan Strawberry led the Bears with 25 points on 50 percent shooting and senior forward Desmond Ringer scored 16 points and 12 rebounds for a double-double.

The Bears won nine of their final 11 toward the end, but finish the 2017-2018 season with a 19-14 record for the third season in a row.

“Our guys competed so hard down the stretch of the season,” head coach Bob Hoffman said. “The way we finished the year was an amazing run. How we fought and got back in so many games and found ways to win.”

The Bears will lose six players who are graduating this semester, including four starters.

Sarah Pounds
Senior guard Strawberry finishes his career with 1,200 points, which ranks him 18th on the Bears all time scoring list, according to Mercer Athletics.

Senior guard Strawberry finishes his career with 1,200 points, which ranks him 18th on the Bears all time scoring list, according to Mercer Athletics. Strawberry also finishes third on Mercer’s career assist list with 494. Fellow senior guard Ria’n Holland finishes his career scoring in double figures in 44 of his 50 career games as a Bear, according to Mercer Athletics.

Rylee Kirk

Senior Demetre Rivers’s senior season saw him join the 1,000 point club, and finish 32nd on the school’s all time scoring list. Senior forward Stephon Jelks finishes his career with 1,113 points and 844 rebounds. He is just one of three Mercer players in school history to score more than 1,000 points and grab more than 800 rebounds.

The seniors have been so special in who they are and how they carry themselves and represented our program and university,” Hoffman said. “We are blessed that they are graduating and they will do tremendous things as they move on from Mercer with that diploma.”

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Bears say goodbye to Seniors in loss to North Texas