STATESBORO, Ga. (School Release) - Sophomore Precious Bridges poured in a career-high 29 points to propel the Mercer women's basketball team to a 48-44 win over Georgia Southern on Friday evening at Hanner Fieldhouse.
Mercer (5-3) used a stellar team defensive effort to limit an opponent to 55 points or less for the fourth time this season. For the game, the Bears held Georgia Southern (1-5) to 32.1 percent shooting and just 25.9 percent from the field in the deciding second half.
Multiple Bears did their parts in areas other than offense to help the team to victory. Sophomore Teanna Robinson had a career-high six blocks while senior Sharmesia Smith grabbed a career-best 17 rebounds in the win.
Both teams got off to a somewhat slow start offensively; with Georgia Southern holding a 17-14 lead, thanks to a three-pointer by junior MiMi Dubose, with 7:38 remaining in the first half.
The Bears hung around, however, using a jumper by junior Kendra Grant to make the score 20-18 Georgia Southern with 3:56 to go in the first half.
The Eagles had the better of the run of play towards the end of the half, however, using another three-pointer by DuBose to take a 25-20 lead going into intermission.
Mercer came out of halftime as the more aggressive team, scoring the first four points of the second half to pull within one, at 25-24.
Another three-pointer by DuBose quelled the Bears momentum temporarily and put the Eagles back up by four, at 28-24, with 13:57 to go in the game.
The Bears once again pulled within one, at 28-27, after a pair of free throws by Bridges with 11:22 remaining in the second half.
Mercer climbed all the way back, using a jumper by junior Kate Alemann to take its first lead since the 10:13 mark in the first half, at 35-34, with 8:06 left in regulation.
A fast break lay-up by Bridges extended the Bears lead to 40-36 with 6:03 to go in the game.
After the teams traded baskets over the next few minutes it would be Bridges who delivered the dagger. The West Palm Beach, Fla. native used a big crossover dribble to create some separation and then connected on a clutch step back three-pointer to give Mercer a 45-42 lead with 1:05 left in the game.
Even with a three-point play by Georgia Southern, Bridges would come through again, hitting a jumper at the end of the shot clock to essentially seal the win for the Bears.
DuBose led Georgia Southern with 18 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the field in a losing effort.
Mercer will now enjoy a full week off for final exams and return to the court on December 16 when it hosts Alabama State. Game time is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Hawkins Arena.