Bears Turn It Up on Kennesaw State, 78-70
KENNESAW, Ga. – Mercer University broke a halftime deadlock with a strong second half surge to defeat Kennesaw State University on its home floor, 78-70. The win upped the Bears' record to 7-14 overall and 4-6 in the Atlantic Sun Conference.
The contest was tied at 36-36 at the intermission with neither team leading by more than four points at any time in the opening stanza. Overall in the game, there were eight ties and 15 lead changes.
Brandon Moore had a team-leading 22 points, followed closely by Brian Mills with 21. Moore's total equaled his career single game scoring high (also going for 22 on Dec. 2, 2009 at Belmont) and was his 14th double-digit scoring game of the year. Moore hit 10-of-15 field goal attempts and supplemented that with eight rebounds.
"Brandon Moore looked like his old self," said MU head coach Bob Hoffman, of his senior who has battled nagging injuries all season. "He wanted the ball, he finished strong and he wasn't hesitant. He went in and finished."
Mills' effort was his fifth 20-point game of the year and his 15th double-figure game of 2010-11. Mills had a good all-around effort as he also hauled in a team-high nine rebounds and passed off for four assists.
KSU shot a blistering 62 percent from the floor in the first half and settled on nearly 55 percent shooting (28-51) for the game. Mercer shot a creditable 48 percent, but made its mark by assisting on 18 of the teams 28 field goals, led by five "helps" from freshman Langston Hall.
Langston Hall almost became the Bears' fifth double-figure scorer with nine points.
"It was a tremendous win for our team," Hoffman said.
Hoffman was also pleased with the outstanding show of support by Bears' backers.
"At the end we were the only ones in the gym," Hoffman said of the Mercer fan support at the game, as the home crowd began filing out early and MU's boisterous crowd was still in place. "Our guys fed off of that. Thanks to the cheerleaders and the pep band for taking their Tuesday night to make the trip up here and help us get a victory."
Mercer will play the second of three-consecutive road games at USC Upstate on Saturday afternoon with a 2 p.m. tip-off as a part of a men's/women's doubleheader in Spartanburg, S.C.