MACON, Ga. – After suffering its first loss of 2006, the Mercer women’s basketball team returns home to host Atlantic Sun newcomer Kennesaw State tonight at 7 p.m. Game Notes (pdf)
The Bears (8-7, 5-3 A-Sun) had their five-game winning streak snapped last Saturday at North Florida but have done well to protect their home court. Mercer is 4-1 at the University Center this season and is 3-0 at home against A-Sun competition.
Sarah Russell leads Mercer in scoring (11.6 ppg) and rebounding (7.4 rpg), and collected consecutive double-doubles last weekend against Jacksonville and UNF. The junior averaged 12.5 points and 11.5 rebounds in the two games.
Russell wasn’t the only Bear to shine in Florida. Megan Lewis averaged 10.5 points on 9-of-14 shooting (64.3 percent) during the two-game road trip. The freshman set a career-high with 13 points against Jacksonville.
“This past weekend, our offense wasn’t clicking. We’ve worked on it, but we’re not neglecting our defense, either,” said Mercer head coach Brenda Welch-Nichols. “We’re taking good shots, but they’re just not falling for us right now.”
Kennesaw State (2-13, 2-7 A-Sun) had some early success against A-Sun competition, defeating Lipscomb in its conference opener in December. Shavonder Clarke does everything for the Lady Owls, leading the squad in scoring (19.3 ppg), rebounding (10.9 rpg) and steals (3.00 spg) and ranking fourth, first and first, respectively, in the A-Sun.
“Kennesaw is a very good defensive team,” Nichols said. “They depend a lot upon Shavonder Clarke, who can mix it up with an inside-outside game. They’re also an up-tempo team but I don’t want to change our game just to alter their game plans.”