Thursday, February 23, 2012
MACON, Ga. – Sophomore Briana Williams drilled a clutch shot in the waning moments to propel the Mercer women's basketball team to a 67-61 Atlantic Sun Conference win over Lipscomb on Thursday evening at the University Center.
Mercer improved to 5-23 (3-14 A-Sun) with the win while Lipscomb dropped its sixth-straight contest to fall to 5-23 (3-14 A-Sun) on the season.
Williams finished the game with 14 points and in the process scored her 1,000 career point, making her just the 22nd Mercer women's basketball player to eclipse the 1,000 point plateau.
Williams has plenty of help on the offensive side of the ball with junior Ry'van Buchanan pouring in a team-high 22 points on 10-of-18 shooting from the field for her third 20-point effort of the season. Buchanan also pulled down a team-high 10 rebounds en route to her second career double-double and third such effort by any Mercer player this season.
Mercer also stepped its game up on the defensive end of the floor, forcing the Bison into 27 turnovers that led to 26 points for the home team.
The Bears jumped out to a quick 6-2 lead in the opening three minutes of the game courtesy of back-to-back jumpers by Buchanan.
The hot start didn't last for long, however, as the Lady Bison employed a 14-4 run over the next eight minutes of the half. Senior Anna Bowers capped off the streak when she drilled a straight-away three-pointer to give the visitors a 16-10 advantage with 8:18 remaining in the first stanza.
Buchanan kept the Orange and Black in the thick of things after converting a spinning lay-up to tie the game at 18-18 with 6:10 to go in the first half.
Both teams traded baskets for the remainder of the period before a lay-up by junior Hannah Phillips and a pair of free throws put Lipscomb ahead 31-29 going into halftime.
The intermission seemed to be just what the Bears needed, opening up the second half on a 10-5 run. Williams canned back-to-back jumpers to give Mercer a 39-36 lead with 15:53 left in the second stanza.
That is the way things stayed throughout the half with Mercer holding a lead as large as eight points before Lipscomb started to chip away at the Bears advantage. Bowers rolled down the lane and flipped up a shot to tie the game at 56-56 with just over three minutes left in the game.
With the Orange and Black up just one with 44 seconds left in the game it would be Williams who sealed up the victory. Coming off a screen, the Jackson, Ga. native buried a three-pointer to put Mercer ahead to stay, 65-61.
Bowers led Lipscomb with a game-high 23 points on 9-of-18 shooting from the field in a losing effort.