Bears Look to Ride Homecoming Atmosphere Versus Harvard
MACON, Ga. – Mercer University’s men’s basketball team would like nothing better than to use what is expected to be a capacity Homecoming crowd on Saturday at the University Center to get its first-ever win over Harvard University in a non-conference tilt. Tip-off is slated for 3 p.m. (ET).
The Bears (1-1) have done well at home, opening the season with a 67-44 win over Oglethorpe on Nov. 12 in Macon before suffering a road loss at UTEP two days later. Going back to last year, MU has won 10 of its last 13 games at the UC.
Senior forward Brandon Moore is averaging a double-double of 16.0 points and 10.0 rebounds per game as he tops the team in both categories. Moore is also shooting more than 47 percent from the field.
Senior Jeff Smith (15.0 p.p.g.) and junior transfer Justin Cecil (10.0 p.p.g.) are also averaging in double digits through opening weekend.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT:
The Crimson are coming off of a big win over Holy Cross, 72-49, Wednesday night in Cambridge. In that game, Harvard had four players in double-digits, led by 18 from Keith Wright (as he earned Ivy League “Player of the Week” honors). Guard Brandyn Curry was three rebounds shy of a triple-double with 10 points, 12 assists and seven boards.
Prior to that, the Crimson had dropped their season opener at George Mason, 66-53. Wright had a double-double of 22 points and 16 rebounds in the loss.
These two teams last faced each other during on November 16, 2007 in Cambridge, with the Crimson scoring a 91-73 win. The other meetings took place on December 19, 2002 (during Mercer’s A-Sun championship season; 76-84), with the first-ever meeting occurring on December 30, 2000 in Macon (51-65). Two current MU players - Brian Mills (8 pts) and Mark Hall (6 pts) - played in the 2007 game.
*With Saturday’s game versus Harvard, Mercer’s men’s basketball team will face the two oldest colleges in America in the same season one week apart. After the game versus Harvard (founded 1636), the Bears will then face the College of William and Mary (founded 1693) on Nov. 27 (in a Legends Classic game) at Williamsburg, Va.
*Mercer has not defeated an Ivy League team in four previous tries. In addition to the three setbacks at the hands of Harvard, the Bears also lost a game to Cornell during the 1996-97season.
*MU’s Alabama tandem of Brandon Moore (Birmingham, Ala.) and Jeff Smith (Huntsville, Ala.) are averaging 31.0 points per game (out of the 70.5 p.p.g. for the Bears as a team...roughly 44% of the MU offense).