MACON, Ga. – Mercer University's men's basketball team will take on Lipscomb University in its first round game of the Atlantic Sun Conference championships on Thursday (March 3) at the University Center (MU is the host school for the event). Tip-off is scheduled for 9 p.m. (ET).
This will be the "rubber game" between the teams for the 2010-11 season, with each winning on its home floor during the regular season. The stakes, however, are much larger for Thursday's bout as the winner advances to Friday's semi-final game against top-seeded Belmont University and a chance to play for an NCAA playoff berth on Saturday.
Brian Mills leads the MU team, having just earned both a first team All-A-Sun award and the league's "Player of the Week" award for the period of February 22-26. Mills is averaging 15.7 points and 5.9 rebounds per game.
Mercer's offense is in the capable hands of freshman point guard Langston Hall…who has played like anything but a first-year player during his inaugural collegiate campaign. Hall was tabbed on the A-Sun's All-Freshman Team, having started all 31 games as the Bears' "quarterback." MU averages 8.2 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.45 assists per game. Hall also has netted a team-high 53 three-point baskets.
Senior Mark Hall – no relation to Langston – is having his best season in the Orange & Black. The elder Hall is currently at 7.1 p.p.g. and has canned 46 treys this season from beyond the arc.
Lipscomb features the 1-2 punch of first team All-A-Sun members Adnan Hodzic and Josh Slater. Both seniors, Hodzic and Slater average 18.0 and 16.5 p.p.g., respectively. The tandem also tops the club in rebounds, with Hodzic at 7.5 caroms and Slater 6.1.
*This will be the 18th meeting between Lipscomb and Mercer. The Bisons hold a 12-5 advantage in the series.
*Mercer will be making its 27th-straight A-Sun Tournament appearance...every tourney in league history.
*Brian Mills needs 10 points to reach 1,100 for his MU career.