By Carey Phillips
Mercer defeated Western Carolina twice last week in Southern Conference women’s basketball action at the Ramsey Center.
While the outcomes were the same, the games had very different tones. The Lady Bears rallied to pull out a 69-62 overtime win last Thursday then rolled to a 71-47 victory Saturday.
The biggest differences in the games were WCU’s field goal percentage and the rebounding margin. The Lady Cats (5-12, 2-5) shot 38.6 percent in the first contest and 29.4 percent Saturday. Western controlled the boards 43-33 Thursday, but Mercer dominated 45-32 Saturday.
The Lady Bears rallied from a 14-point deficit early in the fourth quarter to win 69-62 in overtime last Thursday.
Shannon Titus scored 22 points for Mercer, followed by Jada Lewis with 13 and Sydneey Boykin with 11.
WCU’s Nadia Marshall had a huge game with 26 points and 17 rebounds. Zanoria Cruz added 17 points.
Western led 49-35 after Marshall’s jumper with 7:39 left in the game.
The Lady Bears went on a 13-2 run, including six by Lewis, for a 59-59 tie on Boykin’s basket at the 1:11 mark.
There was no more scoring in regulation.
The Lady Cats managed just three points in OT.
Jaron Dougherty gave Mercer the lead for the first time since the opening basket at 61-60 with 2:41 on the clock. That started a 10-2 game-ending spurt.
WCU jumped to a 12-5 lead on Kyla Allison’s basket with 4:40 to play in the first period, which ended 16-15.
The margin was 26-18 at halftime.
Eight straight points resulted in the game’s largest lead, 45-29, on Marshall’s follow shot with 3:01 left in the third quarter.
The Lady Cats were up 47-35 entering the fourth period.
Completing the WCU scoring were Lauren LaPlant and Andrea Martin-Ruiz with five apiece, Joi Reid with four, Alyssa Walker with three and Allison with two.
Dougherty (23 points, 12 rebounds) and Titus (11 points, 10 rebounds) both had double-doubles in Saturday’s 71-47 win. Lewis finished with 22 points.
Allison had 14 points for Western.
The Lady Bears took control early and led 15-7 after the first quarter and 39-21 at halftime.
A 14-3 run, including seven by Dougherty, built the lead to 53-24 on Jill Harris’ free throw with 3:05 to play in the third period.
The largest margin was 57-27 on Dougherty’s follow shot at the 1:16 mark, and Mercer was up 57-29 entering the fourth quarter.
Rounding out the WCU scoring were Reid and Audrey Myers both with five, Cruz, Tembre Moats and Martin-Ruiz all with four, LaPlant, Mykaylyn Davis and Mia Littlejohn with three apiece, and Marshall with two.