Bears' Second-Half Rally Falls Short at #25 Mizzou, 81-63
COLUMBIA, Mo. – Mercer’s men’s basketball team saw its second half rally fall short and, along with it, any hopes for a come-back win versus No. 25 Missouri, 81-63, at the Mizzou Arena.
The Bears (1-1) found themselves down by as much as 22 points with 15:20 left in the second half, before mounting a furious charge midway through the period. With 9:09 left in the game, Mizzou still held the 22 point advantage, 61-39.
A 14-2 surge by the Bears was powered by redshirt freshman Jibri Bryan, who connected on three-consecutive three pointers during the span. Bryan would finish the game with 19 points, hitting 7-of-11 from the field and 5-of-6 from beyond the arc.
A trey and a pair of free throws from Langston Hall made it 63-53 with 5:31 left in the game. Hall would finish with 11 points and seven assists.
However, MU would get no closer.
The Tigers led at the half by 16 points, 40-24, taking full advantage of 13 turnovers by the Bears in the opening segment.
“I thought we started off really tentative,” said Mercer head coach Bob Hoffman. “They just hit us upside the head everywhere we were going and we didn’t adjust very quickly. They were more physical than us; we played too passive.
“The second half we changed up and started trapping ball screens. We got some steals; got some deflections, and started playing a little more. We are a work in progress and we are going to continue to improve.”