The Bears traveled to Alabama to face Samford on Wednesday, Jan. 26 and fell to the Bulldogs 61-75.
Jalen Johnson started things off for the Bears with a three-pointer assisted by Jordan Jones. Johnson ended up leading the team in points with 13 and blocked two of Samford’s shots.
For most of the first half Mercer were in control of the game and kept Samford from tying the score with help from 12 rebounds from Felipe Hasse. Hasse would double the number of rebounds from any other player on both teams. With about four minutes to go in the half the Bulldogs managed to pull ahead and went into halftime with a 31-27 lead over the Bears.
After that momentum was lost it was difficult to gain back, and Mercer could not catch up to the Bulldogs for the remainder of the game and fell 61-75.
The team traveled back home to play Furman on Saturday, Jan. 29 with a special appearance from the Braves’ mascot, Blooper. Over 35,000 fans came to Hawkins Arena to meet Blooper and cheer on the Bears.
Mercer ended up spoiling the day and losing to the Paladins 80-50. Furman showed they were a tough team to beat, extending their overall record to 16-7 and SoCon record to 8-2 with SoCon losses to only VMI and Chattanooga.
The Bears would bounce back from the two losses with a 67-62 win against Wofford on Monday.
Mercer started off hot with a three from Jones followed by a dunk from Glisson III. The Terriers would tie the game early at 5-5, but the Bears broke away and Johnson hit one of many threes for the night, making the score 20-10. The Terriers managed to get back in the game and tied the score 22-22 with 7:23 to go in the period.
With two good jumpers, two threes, and some lockdown defense, Wofford kept Mercer from scoring and the Terriers took a 32-25 lead. With another three from Johnson along with a couple of free throws, the score was 39-31 going into the half.
Early in the second half, the Bears were able to catch up to only a two-point deficit and would tie the game two minutes later with an electric dunk from Johnson to make the score 41-41. The Bears would start to slip again but a layup by Hasse with the assist from Jones would bring them within three points.
With about three minutes to go, Johnson would tie the game with a good jumper that gave the Bears hope for a win. After a jumper from Walker Jr., the Bears would take a two-point lead and would not lose it for the rest of the game.
Though the Terriers would catch up, Johnson’s fourth three-pointer of the night along with a couple free throws from Tucker would put the Bears up by five points. Glisson III sunk two from the free-throw line to secure a 67-62 win over Wofford after a nail-biting night.
The Bears will travel to Tennessee this Saturday, Feb. 5 to play Chattanooga at noon.