Mercer Bears Look to Create Four-Way Tie Atop Atlantic Sun, Host Kennesaw State

By Ryan Darcy
Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

My what a tangled web we’ve weaved atop the Atlantic Sun Conference. The Mercer Bears play host to the lowly Kennesaw State Owls tonight at the on-campus University Center in Macon, Georgia.

If a share of first-place isn’t enough, Mercer has some added motivation in this one–the Bears fell victim to the Owls earlier this year, 83-75. Kennesaw State has only won two games all season.

Neither team has a particularly impressive resume coming in, though Mercer took down Florida State earlier this year in Tallahassee. Truth be told, Kennesaw State is one of the worst teams in the country, and has been for years, so this one should be a walk in the park for the Bears. It could, however, be a trap game for Mercer as the 1st-place Jacksonville Dolphins loom on deck.

I’m sure head coach Bob Hoffman is aware of the danger that looms in this one for Mercer and has a game-plan to stop the Owls leading scorer, Markeith Cummings, who’s 17.7 points per game is tops in the Atlantic Sun. Aaron Anderson also has to be a focus for the Bears–he’s pulling down 8.1 rebounds per game.

The Bears are one of the best defensive teams in the country, stifling opponents  by allowing only 58.5 points per game, 23rd in Division I. They force 15.2 turnover per game as well, slightly more than KSU’s average (13.9 topg). Mercer also is near the top of the country in free throw shooting, making 76.8 percent of their attempts though they’re not pretty to watch on offensive end, shooting only 41.5% from the floor and 33% from three. As bad as Mercer shoots it, KSU is worse, especially from three-point range–28.4%.

Mercer should be able to have their way with the Owls and move into a tie for first-place–unless they look ahead to their next game, which could result in them being win number three for the Owls.

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