Mercer women down Wofford, 75-54, advance to SoCon semifinals
SoCon Freshman of the Year Kahlia Lawrence led the Bears offensively with 16 points, also adding six rebounds. Alicia Williams added 15 points, while Alex Williams added 10 points and 10 rebounds for her third double-double of the year. SoCon Player of the Year Precious Bridges was mostly quiet on Thursday, finishing with eight points and a team-high five assists.
Junior Jordan Frazier led Wofford with 15 points, while sophomore Maria Corella added 14. Ashton Fleming and Grayson Pinholster each turned in a team-high-tying four rebounds.
Mercer opened the game with three quick baskets, forcing Wofford to call a timeout less than three minutes into the game. Mercer pushed the lead to 8-0, before Wofford got on the board with 17:21 remaining thanks to a layup by Grayson Pinholster. The Terriers used a three-point play from Jordan Frazier to cut the lead to three, then forced five turnovers over the next four minutes to keep the Bears at bay. Frazier scored again for the Terriers, to cut the lead to one at 10-9 with 13:36 remaining.
A free throw by Precious Bridges pushed the lead to two at 11-9, but two made baskets from the charity stripe by Ashton Fleming tied the game at 11 with 12:20 left in the half. Out of the media timeout, Mercer stepped up the defensive pressure, holding Wofford to one of the next seven field goals over the next 3:00, while using a 6-0 run on the offensive end.
The Bears continued their offensive pressure, stretching the lead to eight, before a three by Maria Corella cut the lead to five. After a Bears’ basket on one end, Chanel Stokes drained a three on the other to cut the Mercer lead to four at 23-19. A quick 5-0 lead by Mercer pushed the lead back to nine leading into the final media timeout of the half. Out of the timeout, the Bears continued to pile on the pressure, using a three by Alicia Williams and holding Wofford to a 4:10 scoring drought to take a 31-22 lead into halftime.
Neither team came out hot on the offensive end to start the second half, combining for just two baskets in the half’s first four minutes. Out of the half’s first media timeout, two free throws by Briana Williams pushed Mercer’s lead to 12 at 39-27, before free throws by Kentra Washington cut the lead to ten. The teams then traded baskets to keep Mercer’s lead at ten heading into the under-12:00 media timeout.
Mercer used an 8-2 run out of the timeout to stretch the lead to 52-35 with 9:27 remaining, before a jumper by Maria Corella cut into the Bears’ lead with 9:11 left in the game. The teams again traded baskets until Mercer used a 6-0 run to grab its largest lead of the game at 67-46 with 4:32 remaining.
The teams traded baskets in the final four and a half minutes of game time, with Mercer claiming the 75-54 victory to move to Friday’s semifinals.