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HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. – The Mercer women's basketball team exchanged leads with Northern Kentucky nine times in the first half, but the Norse used a series of decisive runs in the second half to pick up a 72-61 victory Thursday evening at The Bank of Kentucky Center in Atlantic Sun Conference action.

The Norse (7-7, 3-0 A-Sun) extend their winning streak to a season-long three games with the victory and remain atop the conference standings, while the Bears (8-6, 1-2 A-Sun) come up short in their first conference road contest of the year.

Entering the game two points shy of 1,000 career points, Precious Bridges reached the milestone on her first attempt from the field, knocking down a runner off the glass with 16:38 remaining in the first half. Averaging 13.5 points for her career, the junior becomes the 23rd player in Mercer women's basketball history to accomplish the feat and just the sixth active A-Sun player with 1,000 career points.

Entering the game with the top free throw percentage in the league, Northern Kentucky added to that lead with a 19-for-23 performance from the charity stripe, outscoring Mercer by 12 points from the line.

Bridges led the Bears with 17 points, while Sharnea Boykin was the only other Mercer player in double figures with 14 points and five rebounds.

The Bears will make their way to the Music City for a Saturday afternoon showdown with Lipscomb.

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