It was a blowout from the beginning. The Bears (3-1) took the tipoff to start the game and then proceeded to mount a 16-2 lead before the five-minute mark over the Nashville-based NAIA Fisk University.
Fisk (0-6) seemed to be hopelessly outmatched against Mercer’s starters and top scorers, as the Bears would shoot close to 60 percent from the field in the first half.
While the game was more of a tune-up for the Bears' matchup against the ACC’s Florida State Seminoles coming into town three days later, Mercer played everyone on the bench and saw quality minutes from their starters in the 110-45 win.
The game set three University Center records on Wednesday night: the most points scored by a team (toppling the 2005 mark of a 105-101 win over Troy), the biggest margin of victory (the previous largest margin was 32 points against Savannah State in 2005), and equaled the most rebounds in UC history with 58.
After the game, head coach Bob Hoffman said on MercerBears.com, “It was great to get to play a lot of people tonight. The level of play was good, and I played some guys out of position. They competed no matter where they were playing.”
For the Bears fans that saw a tight exhibition game against Division II GSCU, the blowout win was a sigh of relief. It was also an opportunity to see many of the new faces on the floor this season for the Bears. While E.J. Kusnyer and Daniel Emerson would finish with 14 points each, guards Ridas Pulkauninkas and James Florence dropped 13 points in limited action.
Clearing the benches throughout the game, the 2,000-plus fans in the UC saw hometown product David O’Shaughnessey score his first five points at Mercer, as well as fellow freshmen and transfers Chris Smith, Jake Gollon, Michael Jenkins, Brandon Moore and Tevin Swann see plenty of the hardwood in the second half. All 15 players for Mercer ended up scoring on the night.
For Fisk, Michael Brodnax would net 12 points while teammate Bradley Grayson would add in 10. With only two players finishing in double figures on the night, the Bulldogs would end up shooting only 29.7 percent from the floor.
Now, the Bears turn their sights to the CSS-TV matchup against Florida State, a team that has already beaten A-Sun opponents Jacksonville and Stetson by considerable margins in Tallahassee early this season.
Photo Courtesy of Alex Lockwood Photography