Women’s Basketball Downs Belmont, 64-61
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Mercer freshman Precious Bridges scored 20 second-half points to lead the women's basketball team to a 64-61 win over Belmont Saturday afternoon at the Curb Event Center.
Mercer's victory bumped the team's record to 2-6 (1-1 A-Sun) while Belmont dipped to 2-7 (1-1 A-Sun).
After entering halftime with a 29-28 lead, Belmont scored the first nine points of the second half to take a 10 point lead with 16:48 to play. Bridges stopped that charge with a jump-stop attack on the baseline, draining her first bucket of the game.
Bridges' jumper ignited a 17-4 run for the Bears that lasted over six minutes. Bridges was the paramount over that stretch, scoring 11 points in the Mercer surge. The Bears never relinquished the lead after that run.
As the clock went under one minute, Mercer's lead was three and the Bruins began to intentionally foul, hoping to extend the game. Mercer hit five-of-six free throws in the final minute and Belmont's Molly Ernst found iron with her desperation three pointer as time expired.
"At halftime we made an adjustment because we saw a scenario where we thought we could get Precious a mismatch," Mercer head coach Susie Gardner said. "She made great decisions getting to the rim and drawing fouls. She played an incredible, smart, passionate game."
Bridges had 11 of her season-high 20 points at the free throw line and also had an assist in the win.
"Jasmine and Ry'van both played exceptionally," Gardner said. "They are getting better and want to be great. We got great efforts from a lot of players. Alicia Williams did great things that don't necessarily show up in the box score and Sharnea Boykin broke their press flawlessly all night long."
Mercer out-rebounded Belmont, 36-32, marking the fourth-straight game the Bears have out-rebounded its opponent.
"On Thursday at Lipscomb we played so poorly and shot so poorly," Gardner said. "It was a long Friday. Belmont has got a really good basketball team and it was so important that we were able to turn it around. We made strides today, now we've got to quit taking steps back."
Mercer returns to action hosting No. 15 Georgia on December 6. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m.