Bears Are Back: Men’s Basketball Winter Break Recap


Image: Christian Hartley

Sophomore guard Ross Cummings drives past the defense for a layup.

For most of the Mercer community, the last few weeks were a time of rest and relaxation, a well-deserved break from the grueling stretch of finals week.

But for Mercer men’s basketball, time for rest was limited to only a few days as the team found themselves heading straight towards a three-game road swing.

12/18 at Florida, Lost 63-71

To date, the Gators represented the toughest battle of the season for the Bears. In a game where most would expect Florida to dominate, Mercer held their own and gave the Gators a run for their money. In the end, the Gators knocked down free-throws late in the game to finish off the Bears.

12/21 vs UNCW, Won 77-73

Mercer returned home to Hawkins Arena on the wrong side of a four-game losing streak, and in desperate need of a victory to right its’ course. The Bears actually trailed in the game for most of the night but made enough plays to stay within striking distance. Behind a couple of late-game heroics from freshman Luke Hamilton, the Bears pulled out a close one to get back on track.

12/29 vs Harvard, Lost 67-71

The Bears hit the road to Atlanta for a neutral-site game vs Harvard. The game was all Harvard for nearly the entire afternoon, with Mercer trailing by as many as 18 points. However, as they have often done this season, Mercer scratched and clawed their way back into the game. Mercer just didn’t give themselves enough time to overcome their early deficit and fell in the end.

1/3 at Furman, Lost 58-71

Furman represented the second game of the SoCon slate for a Mercer team who dropped their first conference game earlier in the season to The Citadel. Furman is considered one of the top teams in the conference and were the favorites coming into the game. They showed why, leading the Bears the entire way through en route to a double-digit victory.

1/5 at Wofford, Lost 74-78

After dropping their first two games of SoCon action, the Bears entered this game in need of a momentum-building victory before the heat of conference play turned up. Unfortunately, a very good Wofford team was standing in their way of doing so. The game was close the entire way, but Wofford executed in the end and simply made more plays.

What’s Next

The Bears will now enter the brunt of the season, Southern Conference play. The team finds themselves in a 0-2 hole and will need to act quickly to right the ship. The next few games are tough, but surely winnable, for a Mercer team in search of a rhythm.