MACON, Ga.- Mercer shot a red shot 58% from the field and had five players score in double figures as the Bears returned from Thanksgiving break to claim a 90-53 victory over Hiwassee Sunday afternoon at Hawkins Arena.

The Bears, now 5-2 on the season, opened up a 51-32 halftime lead and stretched it out in the second period to win going away. Mercer hit a sizzling 68% of its field goals in the opening half, including eight of 14 behind the three point line.

Ethan Stair got the starting nod in place of leading scorer Ria’n Holland, who was sidelined with an injury. Stair, a 6-5 sophomore, responded with a solid 15-point, six assist and five rebound effort to pace the Bears in scoring. That 15-point showing equaled his career high.

Four other Bears hit for double figures, including Cory Kilby, who tallied a career high 14 points. Jordan Strawberry and Desmond Ringer contributed 11 points apiece, while Marcus Cohen scored a career-best 10 points.

The Bears hit 12 of 25 three point field goals and Stair said the team was feeling it behind the three point line.

“We knew they were going to play a lot of 2-3 zone,” said Stair. “Coach (Hoffman) said if we had a good look, to shoot it. But, we also wanted to make sure we got it inside-out before we took the shot.”

Stair said he knew the team had to step up today with Holland being out. “I try to go into a game with pretty much the same mindset,” said Stair. “It’s on to the next game now. We know we’ve got a big challenge ahead of us with these two road games (at Tennessee and at Memphis) coming up.”

Hiwassee falls to 7-4 on the season and was led by Ben Snider’s 14 points.