MACON, Ga. –
The Mercer Bears dropped a heartbreaking one-point loss to Florida State on Wednesday night in Hawkins Arena, falling to the Seminoles by the final score of 57-56. KeKe Calloway
(21) and Amanda Thompson
(18) led the Bears in scoring on the evening.
STAT OF THE GAME
Despite being undersize in the paint, the Bears dominated the points in the paint category. Mercer notched 34 points in the paint, holding the visiting Seminoles to 20.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
tied a career high in points with 18, finishing 9-of-18 from the floor. The senior forward also chipped in for eight rebounds, three assists and two steals.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The opening quarter went back-and-forth between the two competitors with neither squad able to break free in the opening 10 minutes. The first quarter featured seven lead changes, with the Bears taking the final lead change of the quarter off a Calloway three pointer, giving Mercer the 11-9 advantage. After the Seminoles evened the game at 11 apiece, the Bears netted the final five points of the frame as Ally Welch
and Calloway knocked in a pair of shots for the 16-11 advantage.
Florida State's Nicki Ekhomu netted a jumper to kick off the second quarter but was quickly answered by an 8-0 run from the Bears, including five consecutive points from Shannon Titus
. The Seminoles responded with a 7-0 run of their own to trim the Bears' lead to just 24-20 with 4:41 left in the half. Mercer did not allow Florida State to get any closer for the remainder of the half, eventually taking the 34-26 advantage at the break following baskets by Linnea Rosendal
The third quarter kicked off well for Mercer, taking a 12-point lead twice in the first three minutes of the second half. However, the Seminoles slowly chipped away at the Mercer lead, ending the quarter on a 13-4 run to trim the advantage to just three.
The fourth quarter proved to be a dramatic one and not for the faint at heart. The Seminoles kicked off the quarter on a 7-3 run to take their first lead since the 5:02 mark in the opening frame. However, five consecutive points by Calloway pushed the Bears back on top by four, 52-48, with 5:31 left to play. Florida State's 7-0 run to reclaim the lead was answered by a 4-0 Mercer run to tilt the advantage back in favor of the Bears. Ekhomu's jumper with 2:00 remaining provided Florida State with the 57-56 advantage, a shot that proved to be the eventual game winner. The game was not over until the final horn as Mercer had a chance to take the lead off Calloway's three-point attempt with five seconds left. Despite grabbing the defensive rebound, Florida State turned the ball over on the ensuing inbounds play, giving Mercer the ball back with 2.4 seconds left and a chance to win. On the next possession for the Bears, Thompson was whistled for a charge as she was driving to the basket with 1.4 seconds left to play. The Seminoles were able to dribble out the final seconds to escape Hawkins Arena with the one-point edge.
- With the loss, Mercer falls to 4-5 and drops its eighth consecutive game to Florida State, evening the series at 8-8.
- Amanda Thompson tied a career high in points with 18, a mark that was set on Nov. 25 when the Bears bested Bowling Green in Conway, S.C.
- The senior forward also pulled down her 696th career rebound, tying Mercer legend Kahlia Lawrence for the 10th most boards in program history.
- KeKe Calloway is now at 1,400 career points, passing Kathy Singletary (1,389) for 11th all-time in Mercer scoring. Calloway is three points shy of cracking the Top 10, passing Lashon Brown (1,402).
- Rachel Selph took sole possession of third all-time in career blocks at Mercer, passing Alex Phillips with her 102nd block.
- Amoria Neal-Tysor and Linnea Rosendal reached career highs as Neal-Tysor pulled down four rebounds and Rosendal dished out a team-high six assists.
- The Bears outscored the Seminoles in the paint (34-20), off turnovers (15-8) and in the fast break category (10-8).
"We played an outstanding first half and we had a gameplan that worked pretty well. I think that our starters are having to play too many minutes. We need a little bit more production from our bench. I thought Amoria came in and gave us a spark tonight. We played hard, we played really well and we lost by one. It wasn't the last play that lost the game, you could say it was any missed shot or any missed rebound."
On the final play of the game:
"They were defending KeKe so tight on the last play and that's what teams will do, defend the leading scorer. Amanda had another good game for us, so the objective was to go to her and the defender jumped out and drew the charge."
- Mercer: 4-5
- Florida State: 8-1
Follow the Bears
- Mercer vs. Charlotte on Sunday, Dec. 9 at 1 p.m. at Hawkins Arena in Macon, Ga.
For complete coverage of Mercer Women's Basketball, please follow the Bears on social media at @MercerWBB
(Facebook) and @MercerWBB
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