Bears Use Career Night From Bridges to Squeak Out 74-70 Win
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Mercer women's basketball needed a career-high 36 points from sophomore Precious Bridges and a big second half rally to come away with a 74-70 road win over Lipscomb on Saturday evening at Allen Arena.
Mercer (12-7, 6-2 A-Sun) has now won six games in a row, including four-straight on the road, which is its longest winning streak since ripping off eight in a row during the 2002-03 season.
Bridges 36 points are the most scored by any player in the Atlantic Sun Conference this season and the most scored by an A-Sun player in a single-game since then sophomore Briana Williams netted 39 at Kennesaw State on Feb. 12, 2012.
The Bears jumped out to a quick start thanks to six early points by Bridges to take a 14-6 lead with 13:13 left in the first half.
Lipscomb didn't go away, however, staying within one or two possessions of Mercer until a hook shot by junior Jess Reece tied the game at 22-22 with 6:36 remaining in the first stanza.
The Bisons continued their push towards the end of the period with a three-pointer by freshman Presley Stastny, but Bridges connected on a long jumper with just seconds remaining to make the score 34-34 going into halftime.
Things stayed tight as the second half progressed; with a jumper by junior Kendra Grant trimming Lipscomb's lead down to two, 42-20, with 16:04 remaining in the contest.
The Bisons continued to rely on its long-range shooting to stay in front, using a three-pointer by Stastny to widen its advantage to 47-40 with 13:20 left in the second half.
Mercer tried to keep pace scoring on four-straight possessions at one point, capped off by a driving lay-in by sophomore Alicia Williams, to make the score 53-50 Lipscomb with 9:38 to go in the contest.
The Bears took their first lead since the early moments of the second half after a pair of free throws by Bridges, but Lipscomb came right back with back-to-back three-pointers to take a 62-57 lead with 6:27 remaining in the contest.
Mercer slowly began to chip away at home team's lead, using five-straight points by Williams to make the score 68-68 with only one minute left in the game.
Grant did the rest from there draining pull-up jumpers on the Bears next two possessions, the second of which put Mercer ahead to stay, at 72-70, with just 11 seconds left in the game.
Williams finished with a season-high 17 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the field while sophomore Teanna Robinson grabbed a career-high 15 rebounds in the win.
Mercer wraps up its two-game road swing when it takes on Northern Kentucky for the first time as a member of the Atlantic Sun Conference on January 28. Game time is schedule for 7 p.m. at the Bank of Kentucky Center.