MACON, Ga.- The Mercer men's basketball team heads to Johnson City, Tenn., as the eighth seed in the Atlantic Sun conference tournament which runs Thursday-Saturday, March 2-4. The Bears will face the top-seeded Lipscomb Bisons in the first game of the event, with tip off scheduled for 1 p.m. today in the Memorial Center. 2006 Tournament Guide
Mercer (9-18, 7-13 A-Sun), which is competing in its fourth consecutive conference tournament and sixth in the last seven years, closed out the regular season by dropping two games, but won three of its last five contests.
Senior Andrew Brown leads the Bears' attack, averaging 15.7 points per game and collects an average of 4.6 rebounds from his guard position. Forward Will Emerson adds 11.8 points a contest, while grabbing a team-high 6.9 rebounds per game. Browns ranks 10th in scoring in the A-Sun and fifth in 3-point field goal percentage, shooting 42.9 percent from beyond the arc, while Emerson is in the top-10 in rebounding. Emerson recently became the 31st member of Mercer's 1,000-point club, currently checking in at no. 27 with 1,041 points. Sophomore post player Sam Dolan has averaged 10.3 points, over six boards and 1.4 blocked shots since earning a starting position in mid-January, and ranks fifth overall in the conference in blocked shots, having knocked away 12 opponent's shots in the last 10 games.
Lipscomb (19-9, 15-5) won five of its final six games to clinch the top seed in the postseason tournament, with a 71-66 loss at Gardner-Webb as the only blemish. The Bisons tied intra-city rival Belmont for the regular-season conference crown, but Lipscomb owned the tie-breaker for the No. 1 tournament seeding.
The Bisons swept the regular-season series with Mercer, taking both contests by an identical 88-63 score, and lead the A-Sun in scoring defense, holding opponents to an average of 67.3 points. Lipscomb also out-rebounds opponents by an average of 3.5 boards a game. Sophomore forward Eddie Ard (16.4 ppg.) and teammate Brian Fisk (16.2 ppg.) earned first-team all-conference honors this past week, while ranking sixth and eighth, respectively in the A-Sun. 2006 A-Sun Tournament Bracket