NASHVILLE, Tenn.- In the first game of a two-game Atlantic Sun road swing, the Mercer men's basketball team fell to the Lipscomb Bisons, 83-66, Saturday afternoon in Allen Arena.
Both teams struggled on offense to open the game, with Mercer (3-9, 2-4 A-Sun) going nearly four minutes before guard Jacob Skogen dropped in a driving layup to cut the early Lipscomb lead to 7-2. The Bears were shooting 36.4 percent (4-of-11) from the field midway through the opening frame, while the Bisons were not much hotter, shooting 33.3 percent on 5-of 15 from the field but were out-rebounding Mercer 14-4 at that point.
Lipscomb (9-6, 5-2 A-Sun), which has won three in a row and four of its last five games, heated up while the Bears' shooting woes continued. The Bisons closed out the first half hitting 65 percent from the field on 13-of-20 shooting and pushing their lead out to 25 points on a first-half buzzer-beating 3-pointer by junior Brian Fisk.
The Bisons, who boast the league's toughest defense, surrendering an average of 67.2 points a game, held true to form as Mercer notched a season-low first-half 25 points.
"We'll look to bounce back," said Mercer head coach Mark Slonaker. "I'm frustrated but we don't want to get too discouraged. We've had good workouts and practices. "
Mercer, without the services of freshman guard Montavious Waters, could get no closer than the final 17-point deficit, on a layup by Micalvin Hammonds in the waning seconds.
Sophomore Brian Pfohl came off the bench to score 12 points in 19 minutes of action, and tied Lipscomb's Shaun Durant for game rebounding honors with eight boards. In his first career start, sophomore Sam Dolan scored 12 points and collected five rebounds. Mercer's leading scorer, Jacob Skogen, was held to nine points. Senior Will Emerson, held scoreless in the first half, finished the game with three points and seven rebounds
Lipscomb junior Brian Fisk led all scorers with 18 points, while sophomore Eddie Ard dropped in 11 points.
The Bears, who dropped their second straight game and ninth straight road contest, are still looking for their first road win of the season.
Mercer closes out the two-game road swing with a Monday night contest against Belmont, with tip off scheduled for 8 p.m. (ET) at the Curb Events Center.