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 Friday evening at Hawkins Arena.
With under a minute left in the game, Mercer (6-5) cut a 10-point High Point (6-6) lead down to just three before a pair of clutch free throws by junior Taylor Tremblay sealed the win for the visiting Panthers.
Sophomore Precious 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.
Down 24-17 coming out of halftime, Mercer was never really able to close the gap as High Point kept a two or three possession lead throughout the majority of the second half.
However, the Bears continued to hang around, using a lay-in by Bridges to bring the Orange and Black within two, at 42-40, with 5:49 remaining in the second half.
The Panthers took back the momentum in the game, using a 14-6 run to make the score 56-46 with just 54 seconds left in the game.
That's when things started to get interesting. Bridges made back-to-back lay-ins, and after a High Point turnover senior Ry'van Buchanan hit a jumper to bring Mercer within three, at 60-57, with six seconds left in the game.
The Bears were then forced to foul and Tremblay stepped up to the charity stripe and drained both her attempts to put the game out of reach.
Junior Cheyenne Parker led High Point with 31 points, 16 rebounds and five blocks in the win.
Mercer is now off for 10 days to enjoy the holidays before starting Atlantic Sun Conference play against Stetson on January 31. Game time is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Hawkins Arena.