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Hot Start Helps Mercer Cruise Past FGCU
|Florida Gulf Coast||23||31||54|
|Stats at a Glance||FGCU||MUM|
|FG Percentage||.417 (20-48)||.460 (29-63)|
|3P FG Percentage||.357 (5-14)||.350 (7-20)|
|FT Percentage||.500 (9-18)||.786 (11-14)|
VARIDEL - 13
CECIL - 7
THOMAS - 3
BROWN - 3
MACON, Ga. – Senior Justin Cecil scored 21 first half points and Mercer owned a 20-point lead at the break, as the Bears cruised to a 76-54 Atlantic Sun win over FGCU on Monday night at the University Center.
Cecil finished with a game-high 24 points to help Mercer (10-6) grab its league-leading 10th win of the season while improving to 2-1 in the A-Sun. The loss snaps a two-game win streak for the Eagles (5-8), who are now 1-2 in league play.
The Green and Blue were led by 13 points each from sophomore Christophe Varidel (Versoix, Switzerland/Worcester Academy) and freshman Bernard Thompson (Conyers, Ga./Rockdale County HS). Varidel, who came into the game second nationally in three-point percentage, knocked down 2-of-3 beyond the arc and had three steals. Before recording his team-leading 10th double figure game of the year, Thompson was named the A-Sun Player of the Week by College Sports Madness.
Mercer lived up to its top defensive ranking in the A-Sun, holding FGCU to its third-lowest point total of the season after it average 83.5 points the previous two contests. The Eagles shot 42 percent (20-48) from the floor and committed 20 turnovers that led to 20 Mercer points.
Cecil’s career-high 24 points came on 9-of-14 from the floor and included a game-high seven rebounds over 25 minutes. The Bears shot 46 percent (29-63) from the floor for the game, posting an assist on 22 of 29 baskets.
Mercer jumped out to an 8-0 lead to start the game and built a double figure edge that was there to stay with 7:46 remaining, at 24-14. The Bears lead grew to 20, 43-23, at the break after Cecil scored 10 of the team’s final 13 points over the final 3:27 of the frame.
FGCU will closeout its two-game A-Sun swing through Georgia on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. against Kennesaw State (3-11, 0-3).