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Mercer Women Tip-Off Double Header

MACON, Ga.(School Release) - The Mercer women's basketball team begins its 2012-13 Atlantic Sun Conference schedule on Monday when it hosts Stetson at 2 p.m. at Hawkins Arena.

Mercer enters A-Sun play sporting a 6-5 overall record, with its six non-conference wins the most in a single-season since the 1996-97 version of the Bears, who were also victorious in six non-conference tilts.

The Bears are 1-1 in A-Sun Conference openers under third-year head coach Susie Gardner and haven't opened league play against Stetson since dropping a 90-81 home decision to the Hatters in 2001.

Scouting the Opposition

Stetson has won six of its last seven games entering Monday's match-up with Mercer. The Hatters are finding early season success due to their explosive offense. Stetson leads the A-Sun Conference in both points per game (69.0) and field goal percentage (.436). Stetson was picked to finish first in the A-Sun Conference Preseason Coaches' poll after returning all five starters from its team that went 23-11 and appeared in the WNIT last season. A-Sun Preseason Player of the Year Victoria McGowan leads the Hatters offensive attack, ranking third in the A-Sun in both points (16.7) and assists per game (4.7).

Last Time Out

MACON, Ga. - A furious last minute rally by the Mercer women's basketball team wasn't enough in a 62-57 loss to High Point on December 21 at Hawkins Arena. With under a minute left in the game, Mercer cut a 10-point High Point (6-6) lead down to just three, thanks to back-to-back lay-ins by sophomore Precious Bridges and a jumper by senior Ry'van Buchanan, before a pair of clutch free throws by junior Taylor Tremblay sealed the win for the visiting Panthers. Bridges scored a team-high 26 points, her fourth game of the season with 20 points or more, while junior Sharnea Boykin handed out a season-high nine assists in defeat. As a team, the Bears recorded a season-high 15 steals, including a career-high six thefts by junior Kendra Grant, but the defensive effort wasn't enough to prevent their first home loss of the 2012-13 campaign.

Game Notes

- Mercer has been a stout group on the defensive side of the ball this season ranking in the upper echelon of the A-Sun in multiple statistical categories, including blocks (2nd - 4.2), steals (3rd - 9.2) and defensive rebounds (3rd - 40.6).


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