Bears Looks to Rebound Versus A-Sun Pre-Season Favorite
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – After hitting a sour note in its Atlantic Sun Conference opener on Thursday night in the "Music City," the Mercer men's basketball team will try to orchestrate a halt to its recent skid when it travels to Lipscomb University on Saturday evening. Tip-off is slated for 6:30 p.m. Central (7:30 p.m. Eastern).
The Bears (2-6, 0-1 A-Sun) have lost three games in a row, including an 89-67 setback at the hands of Belmont University in the A-Sun lid-lifter in Nashville. In that contest, BU scored 29 points off of Mercer's 21 turnovers. MU's bench was also out-scored by the Bruins' reserves, 37-12.
But the Bears will need to be at their best on Saturday versus a Lipscomb (3-2, 0-0 A-Sun) squad that was picked first in the A-Sun pre-season poll of both the media and coaches. The Bisons feature A-Sun pre-season "Player of the Year" Adnan Hodzic and fellow pre-season all-conference pick, senior Josh Slater.
Mercer will be looking for continued big efforts from its senior trio of Brandon Moore, Brian Mills and Jeff Smith. Moore is coming off of a career-best 22 point effort in the loss to Belmont, while averaging 13.0 points, a team-leading 7.1 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game (also topping the team).
Mills tallied 14 points despite fouling out versus BU on Thursday, in just 20 minutes on the court. Smith tops the Bears by averaging 14.5 p.p.g. (after scoring 11 points to go along with six assists at Belmont).
All Mercer men's basketball games can be heard live on the sister FM stations of Peach 96.5 & 102.5 (WPCH and WZCH ), which will serve as the flagship stations for all broadcasts this season. Behind the microphone once again this season will be Rick Cameron, "Voice of the Bears", in his fifth year calling the play-by-play for Mercer basketball.
*The Bisons will be making their A-Sun 2010-11 debut against the Bears. LU's 3-2 record is deceiving in that its two losses were at North Carolina and at Baylor.
*Adnan Hodzic and Josh Slater rank first and third, respectively, in A-Sun scoring. Hodzic averages 20.2 points per game and Slater 17.4. The duo also ranks 1-2 in rebounds with Hodzic at 10.0 and Slater 9.2 rebounds per game.
*The Bisons have not been in action since Saturday (Nov. 27) when it overcame a 13-point first half deficit to defeat UT-Martin by 19 points, 90-71. In that game, three LU players had double-doubles: Adnan Hodzic (22 pts./11 rebs.); Josh Slater (15 pts./13 rebs.) and; Brandon Brown (10 pts./11 rebs.).
*Lipscomb holds an 11-4 advantage over the Bears in the series between the schools, including sweeping both meetings in 2009-10. The Bisons toppled the Bears in Macon, 98-89, as well as winning in Nashville, 85-73, in the regular season finale.
*Mercer is 0-4 in road games this season.
*The Bears have had a total of 17 double-digit scoring efforts in their eight games played. 15 of those games have come from one of the team's four seniors: Jeff Smith (5), Brandon Moore (5), Brian Mills (3) and Mark Hall (2). Junior Justin Cecil and freshman Langston Hall have one double figure scoring game each.