NASHVILLE, Tenn. (MERCER RELEASE) – The Mercer women's basketball team nearly overcame a 16-point second half deficit, but its furious rally came up short in an eventual 69-62 loss at Belmont on Monday evening at the Curb Event Center.
Mercer (1-1) cut the Bruins lead down to as little as two on two separate occasions before Belmont (1-1) pulled away late for the win.
The Bears were led in scoring by the three-headed monster of senior Kendra Grant and juniors Briana Williams and Precious Bridges who all had 16 points apiece in the loss.
Team rebounding proved to be the difference in the game as Belmont owned a commanding 46-29 advantage on the glass over Mercer, including 15 rebounds on the offensive end.
Belmont got off to a quick start in the contest, using seven early points by sophomore Blair Bryce to take a 9-4 lead with 16:40 remaining in the first half.
The Bruins continued to widen their lead when a three-pointer by junior Katie Carroll pushed Belmont out to a 22-13 advantage with 9:40 left in the first stanza.
Mercer started to claw its way back into the contest by using a 4-0 run to end the half. A pair of free throws by junior Alicia Williams made the score 31-23 going into intermission.
The Bears came out of halftime re-energized, using a 7-4 run over the first 3:20 of the second half. Bridges tallied five of Mercer's seven points during the spurt to make the score 35-30 Belmont with16:40 remaining in the second half.
Belmont came right back with a response, however, ripping off a 15-6 run capped by a three-pointer by junior Jordyn Luffman to push the Bruins back out to a 50-36 lead with 13:07 left in the second half.
Mercer continued to keep battling and eventually cut the Belmont lead down to single-digits after four-straight free throws Briana Williams made the score 56-50 Bruins with 7:39 to go in the game.
Back-to-back three-pointers by Grant for Mercer and Luffman for Belmont made the score 62-57 Bruins with just 4:31 left in the contest.
That would be as close as the Bears would get, however, as Belmont scored six of the final nine points of the game to secure the win.
Junior Teanna Robinson notched game-highs of 15 rebounds and three blocks in a losing effort.
Luffman paced Belmont offensively with a double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds.
Mercer is back in action on November 14 when it travels to Athens to take on No. 24 Georgia. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Stegeman Coliseum.