The Lady Bisons opened the scoring on a jumper by sophomore forward Cree Nix at 19:05. Freshman center Clair Waggener scored on a lay-up at 18:32 to give the Lady Bisons a 4-0 lead.
But the momentum changed dramatically as Mercer went on a 25-2 run to take control of the game the rest of the way. Mercer held a 37-17 advantage at intermission, tying for the largest halftime deficit for the Lady Bisons this season.
“Mercer came out and hit some quick shots from outside,” said Lady Bisons coach Frank Bennett. “We didn’t cover the 3-point shots that well on some rotations.
“I thought we weren’t moving the ball very well and trying to attack before got the defense moved. With that combination we got down quick. We had a hard time scoring for awhile.”
In the second half the Lady Bisons continued to battle, outscoring Mercer 31-27 in the final 20 minutes.
“I thought after about eight or 10 minutes of the first half our play was much better,” Bennett. “Our tempo was better. We were getting better shots. We were getting more stops defensively. We were rebounding better.
“The thing was we weren’t getting shots during that period of time. We had some pretty good looks are some movement. We missed a lot of free throws. But we were doing better things.”
The Lady Bisons hit 15-of-56 attempts, a 26.8 percent success rate from the field. Mercer connected on 24-of-60 shots, 40 percent for the game.
Nix and sophomore guard Jenna Bartsokas each scored 10 points for the Lady Bisons. Nix also led the team in rebounding with seven.
“Mercer was trying to take away the things our top scorers had been getting,” said Bennett. “We have to have some other people step up and have the patience to score later in the possession.
“I thought we could make a couple of runs, but we couldn’t finish shots at the other end. We couldn’t make the outside shots and we had looks at it. If we had shot the ball just a little bit better we would have been able to get ourselves back into it.”
Forward Dominique Chism scored a game-high 17 points. Courtney Ford came off of the bench to record a double-double with 14 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Guard LaToya Jackson added 13 points.
Mercer held a 43-41 edge in rebounding. Waggener grabbed a season-high six rebounds.
“We are getting better rebounding, but we still are not where we need to be,” said Bennett.
The Lady Bisons, 4-15, 2-8, will be on the road for the next three games starting Thursday night at Florida Gulf Coast. Mercer is 9-9 overall, 5-4 in the conference.