TROY, Alabama (Mercer Sports)-- The Mercer women's basketball team is 2-0 to start a season for the first time since the 2007-2008 campaign thanks to a 96-90 road win at Troy on Wednesday evening at Trojan Arena.
For Mercer (2-0), its 96 points in tonight's win is the most it has scored in a single-game since putting up 98 points against Belmont on Dec. 5, 2009. For the game, the Bears shot a scintillating 48.6 percent from the field which is their highest shooting percentage in a game since that same Belmont contest back in 2009.
Sophomore Precious Bridges led the charge with a career-high 25 points on 9-of-20 shooting from the field. Classmate Tabitha Bradshaw wasn't far behind, notching a career-high 23 points of her own to go with five rebounds.
"This was a game where everyone on our team helped out and this squad is very confident right now because even when we got down early we still believed in each other," head coach Susie Gardner said. "We shot the ball very well tonight and were able to get to the line and hit some clutch free throws late when we needed to. I could down the list and say what each player did to help us win tonight, but we just found a way to win and to make the big plays late which I think shows the growth and maturity of our team this year."
The Bears jumped out to a quick start scoring 10 points over the first four minutes of play. Sophomore Teanna Robinson paced the Orange and Black with four points thanks to a pair of offensive rebounds during the stretch to help the Bears to a 10-5 lead with 15:44 remaining in the first half.
Troy took the lead right back, however, using some offensive firepower of its own to get back into the game. The Trojans hit four of their next five three-point attempts, the last of which by junior Brooke Bowie, to take a 17-14 advantage with 13:38 to go in the first stanza.
Troy built its lead to as large as nine points, at 26-17, before Mercer ripped off a 13-2 run. A fast break lay-up by Bridges made the score 30-28 Bears with 5:53 left in the period.
The Bears continued to fire on all cylinders offensively as the first half came to a close. Sophomore Alicia Williams drained a three-pointer at the buzzer to give Mercer its largest lead of the game up to that point, 47-36, going into halftime.
For Mercer, it was just the third time it had scored 45 or more points in the first half over the past two seasons. The baskets were coming so easily due to the Bears efficiency, as they shot an even 50 percent (18-for-36) from the field in the first stanza.
The Orange and Black came out to start the second half with more of the same offensively. Mercer started the period on a 15-4 run capped by a fast break lay-up by Bradshaw to make the score 62-40 with 16:01 left in the game.
Troy would slowly cut Mercer's lead down to as low as three points, at 87-84, with 1:40 left in the game before the Orange and Black effectively put the game away. A free throw and a fast break lay-up by junior Sharnea Boykin made the score 90-84 and forced the Trojans to foul. The Bears kept their composure at the end and made six of their final eight free throws to seal the win.
Robinson nearly had a double-double, scoring nine points and grabbing a career-high 13 rebounds in the win. Williams and junior Kendra Grant were the third and fourth Bears in double-figure scoring, tallying 14 and 10 points, respectfully.
Mercer returns home for its next game on November 17 against Jacksonville State. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Hawkins Arena.