The 25th-ranked Mercer Bears claimed the Southern Conference Women’s Basketball Championship presented by General Shale, 68-53, over East Tennessee State University at the U.S. Cellular Center on Sunday, March 4. The Bears took control of the game in the second quarter and never looked back.
Former Hayesville Lady Yellow Jacket Amanda Thompson added to Mercer’s winning performance with 9 points, a game-high 11 rebounds and five steals.
Erica Haynes-Overton led three in double digits for the Bucs with 12. Tianna Tarter had 10 points and five assists, while Sadasia Tipps also had 10.
ETSU’s Raven Dean’s lay-up on a nice look from Tarter made it a two-point contest, 22-20, with 4:21 left in the half. Sydni Means jump started an 11-3 run to the break as Lawrence’s three-point play with a tick left before intermission gave the Bears a 33-23 advantage.
The lead swelled to 13, 39-26, on Alex Williams’ layup with 7:30 left in the third. The Bucs battled back. Haynes-Overton capped a streak of seven unanswered points at 5:32 cutting the margin to six, 39-33.
Williams and Lawrence netted the next 6 points to quell the uprising. The margin never reached single digits again.
Following the win, Thompson received the second team All-Tournament honor and her 4.0 grade point average earned her the Pinnacle Award.
The award honors the player with the highest GPA on the tournament-winning team.