Mercer falls to Siena in WBI semifinals

LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. (MERCER ATHLETICS) – Precious Bridges and Alicia Williams led the Mercer women’s basketball team with 19 and 15 points, respectively, but it was not enough as the Bears fell to Siena, 65-54, in the WBI semifinals on Wednesday evening. Mercer ends its season with a 20-15 record, having reached 20 wins for just the fourth time since 1982.

Teanna Robinson pulled down a game-high nine rebounds and added four points, a block and a steal on the night. Bridges also had two rebounds, four assists and a steal, while Alicia Williams added five rebounds, an assist and a steal.

Briana Williams contributed nine points, four rebounds and an assist, and Kahlia Lawrence tallied four points, four rebounds, three assists and a block. Alex Williams notched five rebounds, two points and three assists, Brittnee Broadway added a rebound, an assist and a steal, and Sydni Means added a point.

“Obviously I’m disappointed with the outcome of the game tonight, but I’m very proud of our team for the incredibly great season that we’ve had,” said Head Coach Susie Gardner. “I thought we played hard in spurts; we just didn’t play our best basketball game tonight. When you take a step back and you think about the season, I’m really proud of what our seniors did.

“The seniors took a chance to come to Mercer four years ago when we weren’t very good, and they leave a program that’s in really good shape,” continued Gardner. “I’ve got to give a lot of credit to the seniors and I’m so proud of the character of the freshmen.”

Siena hit a layup just 22 seconds into the second stanza, but Mercer answered with six straight points to stretch its lead to 35-28 with 15:49 to play. Over the next 2:30, Siena outscored Mercer 9-2 to tie the game for the first time. Another 10-4 run gave the Saints a 47-41 advantage with 7:44 to play.

The momentum and the lead stayed with Siena for the remainder of the game, as Mercer was unable to cut the lead to less than four in the final seven minutes. Robinson only played nine minutes of the second half for the Bears, after picking up her fourth foul less than three minutes into the period. Robinson, Lawrence and Alex Williams all fouled out of the game, with Robinson leaving the court with 4:34 remaining. Both Lawrence and Williams were called for their fifth foul in the final minute of the game.

Overall, Mercer hit 38.1 percent of its shots, while Siena connected on 37.0 percent. The Saints went 24-of-31 from the charity stripe, compared to just 7-of-12 for Mercer. Siena also outrebounded Mercer 39-34 and won the turnover battle 12-18.

Alicia Williams scored the first five points of the game; and after a Siena layup and a 2:41 scoring drought for both teams, Bridges converted a three-point play to spark the offense again and give Mercer an 8-2 lead with 15:11 left in the half.

The Saints outscored the Bears 8-4 over the following 3:10 to cut Mercer’s lead to 12-10. A trey from Bridges followed by one from Briana Williams gave Mercer some breathing room again in the form of an 18-10 advantage.

Siena kept Mercer from taking a double-digit lead in the first half, as the Bears’ largest lead was nine, 25-16, with 3:39 left in the half. The Saints outscored the Bears 8-2 in the final minutes of the period to cut Mercer’s lead to 27-24 before intermission.

The Orange and Black connected on 40.7 percent of its shots in the first half, including a 4-of-6 mark from outside the arc. Siena was held to 30.3 percent from the field and went 0-of-5 from behind the three-point line. The Bears also outrebounded the Saints, 20-18, but lost the turnover battle, 5-10.

For all the latest information on Mercer women’s basketball, please visit MercerBears.com or, for up-to-the-minute updates, follow Mercer basketball on Twitter and Instagram at @MercerWBB or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Mercerwbb.

Categories: Across Georgia Sports, Bibb County, Sports

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