The Bears continued their winning streak Jan. 17 when they defeated East Tennessee State University 66-54 at Hawkins Arena.
In the beginning of the first quarter, the teams traded scoring until Amoria Neal-Tysor, Jaron Daugherty and Shannon Titus found the basket seven times and ETSU was unable to keep up. The Bucs were able to lessen the gap on the scoreboard, but the lead was eventually taken back by the Bears at the end of the first quarter. In the second quarter, ETSU managed to catch Mercer on the scoreboard and were just one point away from tying the game. The Bears were able to stay on top going into the half 36-34.
Mercer went on a 10-0 run in the beginning of the second half which helped separate them from the Bucs once again. Although ETSU brought the deficit to only four at one point in the fourth quarter, the Bears would still beat the Bucs by a 12-point margin to claim their fifth win in a row.
The winning streak would end on Thursday night when Mercer lost a hard-fought game against Furman University 66-69.
The first quarter started off rough for the Bears when Furman went on a 5-0 run and did not allow Mercer to score for the first four minutes of the contest. The Paladins’ defense was on point, but that would not stop Neal-Tysor from scoring the Bears’ first six points and bringing the team back into the game.
For the rest of the quarter the Bears tried to catch Furman but trailed 10-13 going into the second. Midway through the second quarter, Mercer found themselves down by 10 points but quickly regrouped. For the rest of the period the Bears scored six times and held the Paladins to only two baskets, tying the game 27-27 going into the half.
The Bears came out after halftime with every intention of taking down the Paladins. Neal-Tysor led the team in the third quarter, making up nine of the Bears’ 18 points. Mercer was up 45-44 going into the fourth quarter. However, the Paladins came back with as much as a 10-point lead that the Bears managed to cut down to three. The team fought to the last second but still came up short, ending their perfect SoCon record and winning streak in the process.
The Bears would bounce back from the loss and defeat Wofford 67-53 in their next game Jan. 22.
Throughout the first quarter and into the second, the score was close as both teams traded baskets. Near the end of the second quarter, the Bears pulled away thanks to scoring from Neal-Tysor, Sierra Votaw and Erin Houpt. Dougherty pulled through with a jumper to finish off the quarter and Mercer went into the half with a 12-point lead over the Terriers.
The Terriers fought back in the third quarter and had a short-lived lead, though the Bears quickly took it back. Near the end of the third, the Bears only had a three-point lead over Wofford which was extended to a five-point lead when Houpt sank both free throws to end the quarter. The Bears ruled the court in the fourth quarter, extending their lead to as much as 15 points.
The team proved their ability to bounce back from a tough loss and now have a 5-1 conference record with a 12-6 overall record. The Bears will take on Samford at Hawkins Arena this Saturday at 2:30 p.m to try and continue their control of the SoCon.