Macon, Ga. - Freshman Corey Walden sank a pair of free throws and hit a layup to put Stetson up by a point with 28 seconds remaining, yet the game went to overtime where the Hatters could not hold on falling 72-62 to Mercer. With the loss Stetson dropped to 7-19 overall and 5-10 in the A-Sun. Mercer improved to 10-15 overall and jumped another game ahead of Stetson in the conference standings at 7-7.
Walden (Ormond Beach, Fla.) led the Hatters in scoring with 21 points, followed by Luis Jacobo (Sanford, Fla.) with 15. Walden was 5-for-13 from the field, 3-of-9 from long range and a perfect 8-for-8 from the line. He also played every minute for the second game in a row. Joel Naburgs (Victoria, Australia) led the Hatters under the glass with six rebounds. Mercer's Mark Hall led all scorers with 23 points followed by Brian Mills with 21.
Offensively the Hatters outshot the Bears 45% to 40% and outscored them 26-16 in the paint. The difference, however were the turnovers. Stetson gave up the ball 21 times and Mercer took advantage scoring 23 points off those miscues. The Hatters were able to tally just 10 points off Bear turnovers.
With its win Mercer evened the season series. Stetson defeated the Bears 79-72 in the A-Sun CSS Game of the Week on January 14 in DeLand.
"We have come so close. It would be entirely reasonable for us to be .500 in league right now", said Stetson head coach Derek Waugh. "We are the second youngest team in the country and we have lost to a lot of senior players making plays. Mark Hall and Brian Mills did that tonight."
Next up the Hatters remain in Georgia to take on and Kennesaw State on Saturday, February 12 at 7:30 p.m. Stetson fans can catch the games on A-Sun TV via Hatter Vision. Be sure to follow the Hatters on Twitter at @StetsonSID, on Facebook at Stetson Athletics, and check out the Stetson Hatters channel onYouTube.