The Mercer women’s basketball team returned home Sunday after a 3-game road trip and 12 days away from Hawkins Arena. The Bears collected their third win in a row defeating Davidson 69-54.
In the first half, the Bears seemed to be out of sorts offensively. They were only 13-35 from the field and leading scorer Kahlia Lawrence made only four of her 13 shots.
Mercer’s defensive effort in the paint was also questionable as they allowed Davidson to score 22 of their 33 first half points in the paint. That was a far cry from their defense against Georgia where head coach Susie Gardner stated that the game plan was to defend the paint. The Bears went into halftime trailing 33-32.
After halftime the defensive intensity picked up and so did the shooting. Mercer outscored Davidson 23-13 in the third quarter and 14 to eight in the fourth to record the victory.
The Bears gave up 10 point in the paint in the first quarter and 12 in the second. After halftime the defensive intensity increased and they held the Wildcats to six points in the paint. Davidson’s outside shooting could not compensate for that dip in paint production and Mercer was able to go from down two at the break, to up nine at the end of the third quarter.
Four who mattered
Kahlia Lawrence- The Bears leading scorer is the focus of every defense she plays, yet she continues to put up numbers. She was all over the stat sheet scoring 18 points, collecting five rebounds, dishing out five assist, and stealing the ball three times.
Keke Calloway- The junior guard scored a game high 19 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Calloway also hit two big three pointers when the Bears were making their runs in the end of the second and third quarter.
Amanda Thompson- Thompson scored a quiet double-double. She finished the game with 10 points and 10 rebounds in her 33 minutes on the floor.
Kayla Potts- The senior came off the bench in the first quarter and sparked a team that came out a little flat. She recorded four points and two steals in the 3:37 of the first quarter that led the Bears back from an early 12-6 deficit. They never looked back.
The vets don’t get rattled
There was never any panic in the Bears when they found themselves down early. They continued to battle and when they needed to, they increased their focus and intensity on the defensive end and was able to not only pull even but cruise past Davidson pretty easily.
They said it
Head coach Susie Gardner
On team’s maturity
“This is a mature team. We had a long road trip and Friday and Saturday to get ready for this game. I was all ready for the lecture of you’re not the only division one team that got in early from a road trip and they were great.”
On the team’s slow start defensively
“I didn’t start in man because Alex (Williams) wasn’t playing and we weren’t very deep. So we tried to stay out of foul trouble by starting in zone but that didn’t work. So we changed to our man and our man has been good to us.”
Kahlia Lawrence on being the defensive focus of opponents
The shot’s not always going to fall. That’s what people focus on with me but I have to find something else in order to help my team. So whether it’s rebounding the ball or making sure the other team’s best player doesn’t score, I have to do something to help my team.
Kayla Potts on being the energy off the bench
I would say that being a role player and pretty much doing whatever my coach asks me to do I’m willing to do it. If that’s guarding their best player, I am willing to deny or pressure the ball and all that good stuff.
Mercer will host George Washington in a midweek non-conference contest. Game time is set for Wednesday at 7 p.m.