MACON, Ga.- In a renewal of the oldest rivalry in the history of Mercer men's basketball, the Bears visit Stetson Tuesday night, with tip off scheduled for 7 p.m. in the Edmunds Center. Game Notes (pdf)
Mercer (3-12, 2-7 A-Sun) has faced Setson more times (107 games) than any other opponent in school history, with the Hatters holding a 64-43 advantage in the overall series. The Bears swept last season's regular-season series, winning their Atlantic Sun Conference opener, 89-76, in DeLand, FLa., on Dec. 2, and topping the Hatters, 74-73, in Macon, on Feb. 25.
"We're looking forward playing one of our longest rivals in the history of the program," said Mercer head coach Mark Slonaker. "We've had some great games the last few years. It's an important game as far as the conference standings go. We need to go out and play a complete game and be competitive."
Stetson (2-15, 2-7 A-Sun), like the Bears, is coming off a two-game homestand that saw the Hatters drop games to East Tennessee State and Kennesaw State. The Hatters opened the 2005-06 campaign with 10 consecutive losses, but Stetson is 2-3 in the Edmunds center, having downed league-newcomer North Florida, 52-40, and Jacksonville, 69-57.
The Hatters rank 11th in the league in scoring, averaging 61.6 points a contest, but on the flip side, they rank second in scoring defense, holding opponents to 71.6 points per game. Stetson leads the conference fom the charity stripe, shooting 76.2 percent, while ranking 11th in shhoting from the field (40.6%). Senior E.J. Gordon ranks among conference leaders in five categories, while fellow senior Anthony Register is among the leaders in three areas. Gordon's 13.8 points is good enough for 16th in the A-Sun, while Register is right behind with 13.2 ppg, at 17th. Gordon also grabs 5.5 rebounds a contest.
The Bears have played 10 of 15 contests on the road this season and both Mercer and Stetson are looking for their first road win of the 2005-06 campaign. Each club is also seeking to snap a five-game losing skid, while each team has recorded home conference wins over Jacksonville and North Florida.
Junior guard Jacob Skogen paces the Mercer attack, averaging 15.9 points a game, with senior Andrew Brown adding 12.8 points and Will Emerson chipping in 10.6 points and a team-leading 6.1 rebounds a game.