Precious Bridges and Alicia Williams combined for 44 points as Mercer rolled past Samford 74-59 in Southern Conference women’s basketball Monday.
The win broke a three-game losing streak and lifted the Bears to 12-11 overall and 4-3 in the conference. Host Samford fell to 11-11 and 4-3, and into a tie for third with the Bears.
Mercer hosts UNC-Greensboro at 2 p.m. on Saturday.
Samford took early control, expanding a 19-15 lead to 30-17 with 3:52 left in the first half. But the Bears got hot with an 18-4 run -- holding Samford scoreless for 3:02 -- for a 35-34 halftime lead.
Mercer slowly improved on that advantage, taking a double-digit lead at the 9:23 mark. The Bears didn’t let the Bulldogs make much progress, the margin falling to single digits from 3:37 to 1:53 in the second half.
“We got down 13 in the first half and I was really pleased with the way we fought back and took the lead going into halftime,” Mercer head coach Susie Gardner said. “We made some halftime adjustments and really went with the game plan in the second half and hit some big shots.”
Freshman Kahlia Lawrence added 15 points for the Bears, who shot 51.8 percent from the floor. Freshman Alex Williams had a game-high 11 rebounds.
Hannah Nichols led Samford with 21 points.
“It was a much-needed win for our program at this particular time,” Gardner said. “We’re excited about having faced all the SoCon teams and getting ready for round two.”
FORT VALLEY STATE 60
Desmond Lofland’s layup with two seconds left lifted Fort Valley State past visiting Morehouse in SIAC men’s basketball.
It was FVSU’s first win since Jan. 15 when it beat Miles 84-77 after opening the season with 12 straight losses. The Wildcats were on a five-game losing streak before Monday’s win.
FVSU travels to Clark Atlanta on Thursday.
The Wildcats improved to 2-17 overall and 2-10 in conference play.
It was the only basket of the night for Lofland, who was 1-for-5 from the floor in 25 minutes.
Derrick Spear led the Wildcats with 19 points, while Ralph Wilson added 13 and Tyrone Brinson 12. Morehouse’s Tyrius Walker had a game-high 16 points.
The Wildcats won despite shooting only 30.2 percent to the 41.2 percent of the Maroon Tigers.
Morehouse’s nine-point first-half lead dropped to seven at halftime and grew to 13 in the second half.
The Wildcats trailed 55-44 with 4:58 left and outscored the Maroon Tigers 16-3 the rest of the way.
Martravious Little, a freshman from Wilkinson County, had five points and five rebounds for Morehouse while Brandon Glover, a junior from Howard, had two points.