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Bears Defense Stymies North Florida, 56-43 | News

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Bears Defense Stymies North Florida, 56-43
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (School Release)- The Mercer women's basketball team held North Florida to just 28 percent shooting from the field in a 56-43 road win on Monday evening at UNF Arena.

Mercer (9-7, 3-2 A-Sun) is now on a three-game winning streak, its second of the season, and is off to its best start in Atlantic Sun Conference play since the 2009-10 season.

"This was a great effort by our entire team tonight and we put together 40 minutes of complete basketball," head coach Susie Gardner said. "I thought we played great team defense and hit big shots the entire game. It was a great road trip for us down here and hopefully we can come back and keep building on the progress we are making right now."

Sophomore Precious Bridges poured in a game-high 23 points, her second-straight 20-plus scoring effort and sixth of the season. Junior Kendra Grant joined her in double figures with 13 points, bumping the Bears record up to 6-2 when both Grant and Bridges score 10 or more points.

In what was a slow start for both teams offensively, the Ospreys jumped out to a 12-8 lead after junior Ki Conner hit a three-pointer with 10:17 left in the first half.

Mercer responded, however, using back-to-back old-fashioned three-point plays by Grant and Bridges to take a 16-15 lead with 7:29 to go in the first half.

The Bears continued to surge ahead as the game went along, using a jumper by sophomore Alicia Williams just before halftime to take a 24-17 lead going into the locker room.

The Orange and Black continued to widen their advantage in the second half after four-straight points by Bridges made the score 36-25 Mercer with 12:19 remaining in the game.

Just when it looked like UNF was going to make a run at Mercer's lead, Bridges once again answered the call with back-to-back mid-range jumpers to put the Bears ahead 48-36 with 5:18 left in the contest.

That would provide the cushion the Orange and Black needed, as UNF got no closer than 12 points the rest of the way.

Junior Sharena Boykin handed out six assists compared to zero turnovers while sophomore Teanna Robinson collected 11 rebounds, her third-straight game with 10 or more caroms.

Mercer is back home for the first time in over two weeks next time out when it hosts USC Upstate on January 19. Game time is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Hawkins Arena.

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