After a tough loss to Wake Forest to open the season, Mercer women’s basketball got back on track Monday evening with a 79-72 victory over Georgia Southern.
The first and second quarters were neck-and-neck. Each team traded baskets and swapped runs, but neither could pull away. The result was a tied, 33-33 game at the half.
The second half saw some of the Bears team leaders step up, most notably senior forward Rachel Selph.
“I talked to Rachel at halftime about deciding to be a dominant post player or is she going to just blend,” said head coach Susie Gardner. “For us to be successful we need her to show up every game this season.”
She definitely showed up in the second half, turning out 16 points with all of them coming in the game’s final 20 minutes.
Behind her strong performance, the Bears weathered a strong third quarter from Georgia Southern to enter the fourth quarter behind by just one point, 52-51.
The fourth quarter saw another one of Mercer’s leaders show up. This time it was guard Keke Calloway.
With the Bears trailing 64-59 with less than five minutes to go, Calloway scored eight straight points to lead the Bears back to a 67-67 tie with three minutes left.
The teams exchanged buckets over the final minutes, but it was a 3-pointer by Calloway with 39 seconds to go that sealed the victory for Mercer. Calloway finished the game with 32 points to lead all scorers.
Mercer improves to 1-1 on the season. The team is back in action Thursday when they welcome the Florida Gators to Hawkins Arena. Tip-off is set for 7 pm (ET).
“I think at the end of the day we were able to fight through some adversity in this game and stay together as a team,” Gardner said.