MACON, Ga. – The Stetson men’s basketball team had its three-game winning streak snapped by a league-leading Mercer Bears team that earned its seventh straight victory with a lopsided 87-49 win at Hawkins Arena Saturday afternoon.
After senior Willie Green opened the game by winning the tip and scoring the first bucket, Mercer took off on a 26-2 run over the next seven minutes, virtually putting the game away not even midway through the first half.
The Bears (17-5, 7-1), who improved to 12-0 at home this season with the victory, were clicking on all cylinders. Mercer made 16 out of its first 20 shots from the floor en route to shooting 61.3 percent from the field and 58.3 percent from three-point range in the first half.
“It didn’t feel like we played to the level we are capable of playing,” Stetson head coach Corey Williams said. “Mercer had a lot to do with that. They played outstanding. They shot the ball very well. Anytime you’re playing the number one team in your league, you’re margin for error is extremely small.”
Along with the inability to stop Mercer’s hot shooting, Stetson (6-15, 4-5) was also unable to get anything going offensively in this one. The Hatters shot just 34.7 percent for the game, and hit on 28.6 percent of their threes, many makes coming when the game was out of contention.
Mercer held a 49-24 lead at the break after Stetson was able to break off an 11-2 run late in the first to cut the Bears’ 31-point advantage to just 22 with just over two minutes to play.
Unfortunately for the Hatters, Mercer came out on fire once again in the second half, continuing to extend the lead as the game went on. The Bears led by as many as 45 points before settling into the 87-49 win, marking Stetson’s largest margin of defeat this season.
A number of Bears were successful on the offensive end on Saturday, but Anthony White, Jr. led the way with 19 points on 5-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc. The Bears as a group finished 11-of-22 from long distance.
Darious Moten scored 15, Bud Thomas totaled 13, and Jibri Bryan chipped in with 12 for the Bears. Senior point guard Langston Hall, who leads the league in the category, led all players with nine assists.
Green finished with 10 points and five rebounds to lead the way for the Hatters. Senior guard Raymone Andrews added nine points and a team high four assists in the loss.
Stetson will continue A-Sun action next week against second place Florida Gulf Coast. The Hatters and the Eagles are scheduled to tip-off at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 31 in the A-Sun/CSS Friday Night Game of the Week.