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Mercer Edges Stetson 82-81 in Overtime
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Release:  01/23/2006
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Mercer Edges Stetson 82-81 in Overtime
January 24, 2006

DeLand, Fla. ' Stetson had a chance to win at the buzzer in regulation and again in overtime, but Mercer held on for the one-point Atlantic Sun Conference victory Tuesday night at the Edmunds Center.

Ross Alacqua led five players in double figures with 18 points as the Bears (4-12, 3-7 A-Sun) snapped a five-game losing streak.? The Hatters (2-16, 2-8 A-Sun) dropped their sixth in a row, despite a career-high 27 points from Anthony Register.

'This is just a tough loss and we need to find a way to regroup,' Hatters head coach Derek Waugh said.? 'It has been a tough season and hopefully the worm will turn.'

Stetson opened the game on 1-for-16 shooting as Mercer ran out to an early 15-3 lead.? The Bears led by 10 at the half, but Stetson rallied to tie the game at 54-54 with 10:45 remaining.? Stetson would later pull even at 64, 66, and again at 74, but the Hats never enjoyed a second-half lead.? Sam Dolan's bucket with 41 seconds left put the Bears back on top 76-74, and E.J. Gordon's free throws with 16 seconds left tied the game at 76.

Gordon then tied up Jacob Skogen and the Hatters took control on the alternating possession.? Gordon's three-point attempt at the buzzer hit off the back iron and the game went to overtime.

With the score tied at 80 late in the extra session, Will Emerson converted a pass from Dolan for an easy lay-in to put the Bears ahead by two.? Register split a pair of free throws with 44.5 seconds on the clock to pull the Hatters within one, and then a missed shot by Dolan gave Stetson a chance to win.? The Hatters pushed the ball down court and Diaz took the ball to the hoop, but his original shot and rebound attempt both rimmed out allowing Mercer to escape with the one-point victory.

'In the first half, we had a lot of open looks and couldn't make a shot, and they did,' Waugh said.? 'We did battle back extremely well, but we were unlucky coming down the stretch.? They say baseball is a game of inches, but we lost by inches tonight.'

Emerson, Dolan, and Skogen each had 14 points for the Bears, while Andrew Brown added 12.? Emerson also collected a game-high 14 rebounds.

'Give Mercer credit, they have had some tough games this year,' Waugh said.? 'Emerson has struggled at times but played well for them tonight.'

Register's career-high night included a 9-for-16 performance from the field.? Gabe McMillen scored 13 points and added five assists and five steals.? Gordon and Karl Hollingsworth chipped in 12 points apiece.

Stetson missed just four free throws in the game (21-25), but three of those came in overtime (5-8).? Stetson went 0-for-5 from the floor in the final five minutes of play, and shot 37.5 percent for the game.

Mercer owned a 46-39 advantage on the boards.

The first half of the conference season is now complete.? The Hatters will begin the second-half on Saturday afternoon at ETSU.? Tip-off is set for 4 p.m.

Box Score

Notes: Waugh announced prior to the game that junior guard Will Holloman (Jacksonville, Fla./Wolfson HS) has been removed from the squad for conduct detrimental to the team. Holloman averaged 8.2 points per game in his two seasons with the Hatters ... The Hatters' 81 points and 39 rebounds were season-highs.? The last time Stetson scored 80 points in a game was on Jan. 22, 2005 at Campbell (28 games) ... It was Stetson's first overtime game of the year ... Anthony Register recorded career point no. 1200 ... E.J. Gordon had one steal, bringing his career total to 199.

Stetson Men's Basketball