The Mercer women’s basketball team captured its third Southern Conference Tournament Championship in the last four years with a 60-38 victory over No. 4 Wofford at Harrah’s Cherokee Center on March 7.
With the win, the Bears earned a trip to the NCAA Tournament, securing the automatic bid from the SoCon.
Mercer led wire-to-wire and defended Wofford exceptionally well as a team, allowing the Terriers to score just 38 points in the game to set a new SoCon Championship Game record. The Orange and Black also posted the largest margin of victory in the championship game since 2014 when Chattanooga defeated Davidson by 26 points, 71-45.
The Bears prevented any of the Terriers’ players from reaching double figures while limiting Wofford to shooting just 24.5 percent (13-of-53) from the field, marking just the third time this season Mercer held its opposition under 25 percent from the floor. The team’s perimeter defense played a large factor in that as well, holding the Terriers to just 4-of-16 (25.0 pct.) from beyond-the-arc. It was the 15th time this season a Mercer opponent shot 25.0 percent or worse on 3-pointers.
Shannon Titus, the SoCon Defensive Player of the Year each of the past two years, held down the fort in Mercer’s defensive end, gathering 10 rebounds while blocking four shots and earning a steal.
Three Bears scored in double figures in the game, led by Jaron Dougherty’s game-high 19 points. Amoria Neal-Tysor added 16 points of her own, while Jada Lewis chimed in with 13 points. Dougherty collected her 10th double-double of the year with 11 rebounds in the title matchup, while adding a career-high six steals on the defensive end of the floor. Allie Thayne played a huge role in the team’s offensive efforts in the game as well with six of her seven rebounds coming on the offensive glass.