Mercer women’s basketball closed out a three-game road trip in Homewood, Alabama on Saturday afternoon with a matchup against the Bulldogs of Furman.
The Bears defeated the Bulldogs (7-15, 2-5 SoCon) in overtime earlier this season at Hawkins Arena in a start-to-finish close game. However, the Bears were all over the Bulldogs from the start in this matchup.
Mercer (16-7, 8-0) outscored the Bulldogs in the game’s first three quarters to take a commanding 19-point lead heading into the game’s final quarter.
Led the entire way by KeKe Calloway, Mercer coasted in the end to a decisive 68-52 victory over the Bulldogs.
(1) Calloway is back to her normal self
Fresh off her poorest performance of the season at home against East Tennessee State, KeKe Calloway was due for a big game. She delivered that and more during the Bears most recent three-game road trip, including a big-time game against Samford. The senior guard averaged 20 points, six rebounds and 2.6 assists for the trip, capped off by a 22 point performance to go along with 8 rebounds and two steals.
(2) Mercer can play any type of game
If the opposing team walks in the gym and wants an offensive shootout, Mercer has the pieces to play that game. If it’s a defensive battle the other team wants, like Saturday’s game against Furman, the Bears can roll with that too. This will be extremely important come SoCon tournament time, as the Bears are likely to get each team’s best shot, along with several curveballs along the way.
(3) The team dominated. From start, to finish.
This is a team that has been known to build strong leads, only to blow them in the second half. The silver lining is that the team has not lost any of those games, despite the lackluster play late. However, in Saturday’s game the Bears played strong and fast from start to finish. They didn’t take their foot off the gas and finished strong.
Player of the Game: KeKe Calloway
The senior guard capped off an impressive road trip, scoring a game-high 22 points
She also pulled down 8 rebounds and secured two steals
Calloway erupted from the opening tip, scoring 13 points in the first two periods, propelling her team to a double-digit halftime margin
(1) Coach Susie Gardner on her team’s defensive performance:
“That defensive intensity is something we continue to take pride in. It is always hard to face conference opponents a second time in the regular season, just because everyone knows each other so well. Our players are buying into being a defensive-minded team.”
(2) Gardner talks about Calloway’s impressive game:
“KeKe [Calloway] shot the ball exceptionally well and added eight rebounds.”
(3) Gardner on her team’s strong play from start to finish:
“We were fortunate to establish a strong lead in the second half and not surrender anything today. We are very aware of how we’ve relinquished second-half leads in games this season, so to avoid that was encouraging to see.”