In their first preseason exhibition, the Mercer women’s basketball team took on Francis Marion University and came up victorious on Nov. 1 in Hawkins Arena.
At halftime the Bears were leading the visitors from Francis Marion 31-17. But the visitors came out from the locker room hot and began the second stanza by scoring 20 points to the Bears’ nine coming within three points, 40-37, with 12:22 on the clock.
Susie Gardner’s squad did not lay down using lay-ups on back-to-back possessions from sophomores Alicia Williams and Teanna Robinson to give the Bears some room for error at 44-37, with 11:30 remaining in the second half.
From that point forward, the Orange and Black would retain a double-figure lead for the majority of the game, with their advantage growing to as large as 17 points, at 61-44, after a lay-up by junior Kate Alemann with 2:50 to go in the contest.
Sophomore Precious Bridges led all scores on the night with 14 points. She also picked up nine rebounds and one steal in the contest. Redshirt junior Kendra Grant was not far behind in points with 10 points in her first season of play since her latest knee injury. Grant also pulled down seven rebounds and dished out four assists.
Robinson finished with seven points and eight rebounds while Williams had a solid all-around performance recording nine points, eight rebounds and four assists.
“Teanna barely played last year, but she played well in major minutes for us tonight and Alicia Williams did an exceptional job of coming in off the bench and running the floor which is what we want her to do,” Gardner said when asked about Robinson’s and Williams’ play.
Head Coach Susie Gardner was impressed with her team’s overall play and happy with the victory of the night, but still believes they have a lot of work to do in order to help lead the team towards a successful 2012-13 campaign.
“There were some positives that came out of tonight, specifically being one of our goals is to score easy baskets and we had quite a few transition lay-ups tonight,” head coach Susie Gardner said. “We weren’t as sharp as I would like us to be in the half court, but we will look at the film of tonight’s game, because I am a big proponent of studying film, and go from there. It wasn’t very pretty, but we learned a lot of things tonight as a program that we can use and build on moving forward,” she added.
The Bears return to action on Nov. 9 when they take on Brevard in the official 2012-13 season home-opener. Game time is set for 7 p.m. at Hawkins Arena. The game will serve as the kick-off event for Homecoming 2012.