MACON, Ga. (MERCER RELEASE) – The Mercer men's basketball team is set to open Atlantic Sun Conference play on Monday night, challenging Jacksonville at Swisher Gymnasium. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m.
Mercer (9-4) is on a season-long four-game winning streak after downing St. Andrews 98-56 in Hawkins Arena on Friday evening. The game marked the conclusion of the non-conference portion of the regular season. Mercer's 9-4 record solidifies the third-straight season that Mercer will finish with a winning record outside of league play.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION
Jacksonville is 4-7 on the season after wrapping up their non-conference schedule with a 61-47 win over South Carolina State in Jacksonville on Dec. 23. The Dolphins are 4-2 at home this season, including a 2-0 record at Swisher Gymnasium.
Sophomore guard Jarvis Haywood is one year removed from a 2013 All-Freshman team selection and leads the team in scoring at 16.3 points per game. Haywood has scored 16 or more in his last three games, but has not played in three of the team's last five games.
Senior Javon Dawson leads the Dolphins on the inside, pulling down an average of 7.0 rebounds per game. Dawson is riding a three-game streak with 10 or more rebounds and is one of just three A-Sun players averaging 7.0 rebounds or more.
Jacksonville returns three starters from last year's team that went 14-18 (9-9 A-Sun). The Dolphins were picked to finish fourth among A-Sun competition in the preseason coaches and media polls.
Head coach Cliff Warren is in his ninth year with Jacksonville, having led the team to a 118-139 record during his tenure. Warren has led the Dolphins to postseason play in three of the last five years, including a trip to the NIT round of 32 in 2010.
Senior forward Jakob Gollon needs 12 points to become the 37th member of Mercer's 1,000-point scoring club. Gollon has scored 12 or more 24 times in his career, including twice this season.
Mercer's 42 point win over St. Andrews was its fifth win by 20 or more points this season. Over the past five seasons, Mercer has won 24 games by 20 or more points.
Mercer has out-rebounded its opponent in six-straight games and eight of the last nine games. The Bears lead the conference in rebounding margin (+8.1).
Mercer is 3-2 in A-Sun openers under coach Bob Hoffman. The Bears aim to go 1-0 in league play for the third-straight season on Monday.
Jakob Gollon was granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA after suffering medical hardships in his first two collegiate seasons. He's already played in 131 games and now just 15 games short of breaking into the top 20 all-time among NCAA career leaders in games played.
Senior center Daniel Coursey enters Monday 15 blocks shy of tying Wesley Duke for the program's career block record (173).