|Hatters Fall to Bears and Split Season Series|
A.J. Smith led Stetson with 15 points.
Courtesy: Stetson University
Macon, Ga. - Senior A.J. Smith (Cocoa, Fla.) scored a team-high 15 points and led the Hatters with six rebounds yet Stetson (5-15, 3-9) could not keep pace with the Mercer Bears (10-11, 6-5) and fell 91-57 in Macon. Mercer wanted to avenge its 76-69 loss to Stetson last week in DeLand and it did so by shooting 59.6% from the field and 58.3% from beyond the arc.
Stetson freshmen Tyshawn Patterson (Orlando, Fla.) and Ridge Graham (Stuart, Fla.) added 10 and nine points respectively to the visitors' totals.
Mercer opened up the game building a 13-5 advantage and then Stetson scored the next two baskets on a layup by Graham and a break away dunk by Smith to get the Hatters to within four points at 14:28. Mercer answered with a 20-6 run and led by 16 at 2:23. The final seven points of the period came on a 3-pointer by Smith, and then a pair of free throws and a layup by Patterson with four seconds on the clock to cut the differential to nine points.
Mercer came out of the locker room on fire and shot 63.3% in the second half to keep the Hatters down. After hitting a respectable 42.3% in the first half, Stetson went cold and could manage just 26.5% in the second.
In the game Jeff Smith led the offensive charge for the Bears with 25 points after shooting an impressive 8-of-11 from the field, 7-for-8 from 3-point range and 2-of-2 from the line. Daniel Emerson added 18 points and led all players with 12 rebounds.
Next up for Stetson is a trip across Georgia to take on Kennesaw State Monday at 7:30 p.m. Stetson fell 75-59 to the Owls last week in DeLand. Monday's game can be seen on A-Sun TV at www.atlanticsun.org.
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