The Mercer women's basketball team placed four players in double figures Thursday evening and held off a late rally to pick up a 79-71 victory over USC Upstate inside Hawkins Arena in Atlantic Sun Conference action.
The Bears (13-12, 6-8) even the season series with Upstate end a three-game losing streak, while the Spartans (12-12, 7-6) have dropped three of their last four games and fall back to .500 on the year.
History was made with 17:14 remaining in the first half when Kendra Grant knocked down a jumper on a pass from Sharnea Boykin to give the senior 600 career assists. Boykin became just the sixth player in Atlantic Sun Conference history with 600 assists and moved into third place in program history.
With Mercer trailing 49-47 midway through the second half following a three-pointer from Upstate's Brittany Clency, the Bears went on a tear and used a 21-4 run to create the first double-digit lead of the game. The spurt was fueled by eight made free throws, including a pair from Grant to give Mercer a 68-53 lead with less than three minute to play.
Grant led all scorers with 17 points, while Kate Alemann added 16 points and Briana Williams and Boykin tallied 13 points apiece. Bridges set a season-high with seven assists, while Teanna Robinson added nine points, eight rebounds and four blocks in the victory.
The Bears return to action Saturday afternoon, welcoming ETSU to town for a 3 p.m. tip-off inside Hawkins Arena. Saturday will serve as senior day with the women's basketball program recognizing Sharnea Boykin, Kendra Grant and Kate Alemann playing in their final regular season home contest.