ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Top-seeded Mercer used a strong opening to the fourth quarter to secure a 64-50 win over fifth-seed Furman on Friday at the Southern Conference Women’s Basketball Championship presented by General Shale. The Bears’ 12-0 run broke open a three-point contest.

Sydni Means led all scorers with 25 points, tying her career high. Kahlia Lawrence added 18 points and seven rebounds in a winning cause. Holli Wilkins paced Furman with 18 points.

Mercer led 43-40 through three quarters. The Bears held Furman scoreless for nearly seven minutes to extend their margin to 15, 55-40, on two Rachel Selph free throws. The Paladins went eight straight possessions without a point in the period.

It was a defensive battle. Mercer managed to shoot just 37.1 percent, but it held the Paladins to 30.9 percent. Furman struggled inside the arc, making only eight of its two-point efforts (8-for-30, 26.7 percent) thanks in large part to Selph’s career-best seven blocks.

Means added five rebounds, four assists and three steals, while Selph had a game-high nine boards. The Bears only turned the ball over two times and converted 16 offensive rebounds into an 18-6 advantage in second chance points.