Bears on a four-game hot streak 

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Bears on a four-game hot streak 

Starter Ethan Stair driving towards the goal against VMI defender.

Starter Ethan Stair driving towards the goal against VMI defender.

Kayla Davis

Starter Ethan Stair driving towards the goal against VMI defender.

Kayla Davis

Kayla Davis

Starter Ethan Stair driving towards the goal against VMI defender.

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The men’s Basketball team had their first SoCon division win on Wednesday against the Virginia Military Institute at Hawkins Arena.

Both teams had yet to win a division game in the Southern Conference with VMI scoring 0-5 and the Bears 0-4.

The first half of the game did not look good for the Bears as the Keydets took a four-point lead and eventually a double-digit lead going into half time. The Bears had 18 turnovers with the majority of them being in the first half.

While VMI led 38-27 coming into the second half, Mercer came back from halftime with new strength. The Bears started slowly gaining more points and ended up shooting 46 points in the second half.

Djordje Dimitrijevic (#5) shot his own record this game by shooting six three-pointers with five of those coming in the second half. His total points came to 26 and he was also nominated SoCon student-athlete of the week. 

The transfer, Jeff Gary (#3), also shot in the double digits with 11 total points during this game. He obtained four assists and three three-point field goals, which were both his season-high.

“What’s going through my head first is where my other teammates are so I can give them a bucket,” Gary said. “I like assisting more than I do scoring.”

The Bears finished strong with an 11-point lead over the Keydets, 73-62. Mercer then traveled to Samford and grabbed their second SoCon win with the final score being 90-75.

Ethan Stair (#22) scored 22 points in the game and became the fourth player in Mercer program history to reach 1,000 points. Stair reached this after throwing a three in the second half and now has 1,017 career-points.

Dimitrijevic also went his third game scoring over 25 points and tied his record of six three-pointers. 

The Bears then played Western Carolina Jan. 22 and won 85-79.

The team shot a 48.3 percentage on the floor with Dimitrijevic and Gary passing their previous game scoring highs. 

Stair also recorded his eighth double double this season and scored 17 points that game.

The bears played VMI again in Lexington and won 69-66. While it was a close game, the win put Mercer at 4-4 in the SoCon.

Dimitrijevic led the team in points, and Kamar Robertson was second in top-scoring points for the team. Robertson tied his career-high of 16 points in a single game.

The next game will be at ETSU on Jan. 29 and the next home game is against the Citadel on Feb. 1. Whether the Bears can hold this winning streak is unknown, but it has become evident that the team holds something special. 

“Just putting the pieces together, we are so close,” Gary said. “If we just do the little things I think it will make a huge difference.”