MACON, Ga. - The Mercer women's basketball team used its size and strength to overpower Francis Marion for a 62-49 win in Thursday evening's exhibition contest at Hawkins Arena.
Mercer out-rebounded Francis Marion 61-35 and held an impressive 34-16 advantage in points in the paint to secure the win.
Sophomore Precious Bridges led all scorers in the contest with 14 points to go along with nine rebounds and a steal. Junior Kendra Grant came in off the bench and also scored in double-figures, netting 10 points on 5-of-11 shooting from the field in her first game action in over a year.
"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."
The Bears took a 31-17 advantage going into halftime, but Francis Marion started the second half on a 20-9 run to pull within just three points, 40-37, with 12:22 left in the game.
Mercer would respond, however, using lay-ups on back-to-back possessions by sophomores Alicia Williams and Teanna Robinson to give the home team some breathing room, 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.
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."
Mercer will return to action on November 9, when it hosts Brevard in its 2012-13 season opener. Game time is set for 7 p.m. at Hawkins Arena and will double as the kick-off event for Homecoming Weekend.