Mercer men’s basketball player Jalen Johnson put the team on his back in the team’s two most recent games, helping the Bears to secure consecutive wins against both VMI and UNCG.
Johnson was particularly impressive against VMI as Mercer won 97-91 in a home matchup at Hawkins Arena Jan. 13.
Johnson recorded 30 points and six rebounds off an incredible 11 of 14 from the field and a perfect eight of eight from three-point territory. Johnson also recorded both a block and a steal during his standout performance.
It was not just the level of production that highlighted Johnson’s performance, but the timing of his baskets was particularly notable. Time and time again Johnson would knock down a jumper to keep any potential VMI momentum at bay.
There were other notable performances against VMI, with the ever-reliable Felipe Haase notching 28 points, five rebounds on 7-8 shooting and going 3-4 from three-point land.
James Glisson III also showed out, recording 21 points off the bench, including a buzzer-beating three-pointer to end the half. Kamar Robertson contributed a further 11 points, five assists and five rebounds.
The Bears’ winning ways continued Saturday with a 58-49 win over UNCG. Johnson was once again the team’s leading scorer, converting four of his seven three-point attempts.
UNCG, who were last year’s conference champions, struggled to gain any momentum throughout the contest, as the Mercer defense remained resilient throughout.
James Glisson III notched up two blocks and two steals whilst Johnson was again active with two blocks of his own.
The two recent wins put the Bears at 10-7 overall and 3-1 in conference play, leaving them second in the Southern Conference, trailing only Chattanooga.
Their next game sees the team face the Citadel Bulldogs, who are currently second to the bottom of the conference at 1-3 in conference play.
If Mercer were to be victorious once again, this would see them equal Chattanooga’s 4-1 record in Southern Conference play.
The matchup against the Bulldogs will be followed by two more crucial conference games against East Tennessee State on Wednesday and Western Carolina on Saturday.