The Mercer women’s basketball team finished up a three games in five days home stand by defeating Howard University 70-44 to earn their eighth win in a row.
For the second game in a row the Bears started sluggish offensively, which allowed the visitors to get out to a 21-8 first quarter lead. The Bison continually found holes in the Mercer’s 2-3 zone defense and after being red hot from the 3-point line in their previous game, Mercer missed all six of their 3-point attempts.
In the second quarter, Mercer went to their small lineup and pressure man-to-man defense. The result was an 11-point quarter for the Bison. Meanwhile, the Bears offense more than tripled their first quarter offensive output. Keke Calloway heated up with 15 points in the quarter and the Bears went into halftime leading 37-32.
After halftime, the Bears did what they’ve done to many other opponents this season — they continued to increase the defensive pressure, imposed their will and ultimately put the game out of reach for the Bison.
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After a dominant 29-11 second quarter, Mercer came out of halftime with Kayla Potts inserted into the lineup. They scored 10 unanswered points in the first four minutes and never looked back. By the end of the third quarter, their five-point halftime lead had doubled.
Two who mattered
Sydni Means: The Mercer floor general continued to fill the stat book in every meaningful category. She finished with eight points, three rebounds, three steals, one block, and of course, eight assists. Even nor impressive was that she played all 40 minutes.
Keke Calloway: Another night another career high for the Bears sharp shooter. After 26 points on Tuesday night against South Carolina State, Calloway scored 30 points. She also grabbed nine rebounds and stole the ball six times from the Bison.
They said it
Head coach Susie Gardner on being on the road: “I’m okay with being on the road because we can have basketball 24/7. We are not in class; they don’t have any studying to do.”
Her reaction to Calloway’s six-steal performance: “Keke has an uncanny ability to anticipate — she has great anticipation skills.”
Keke Calloway on getting into a rhythm: “I just wanted to focus on getting easy baskets. Trying to get to the free-throw line. seeing one go in and after that just keep attacking and just be aggressive.”
Sydni Means on playing the entire game: “It’s senior year, I don’t want to sit on the bench. I want to get out there and play. So it’s a blessing to be able to be on the court, because I’ve been in a position where I haven’t been. So I know what both feels like.”
The Mercer women will take a few days for the Christmas break then they will begin a five- game road trip that will begin Dec. 28 against North Carolina and end with three straight road SoCon opponents.