Hot Start Helps Mercer Cruise Past FGCU
Monday, January 02, 2012
Thompson finished in double figures for a team-best 10th time this season at Mercer.
Thompson finished in double figures for a team-best 10th time this season at Mercer.
Florida Gulf Coast (5-8 (1-2 A-Sun))
Mercer (10-6 (2-1 A-Sun))
1/2/2012 | Macon, Ga. - University Center | Attendance: 2075
Florida Gulf Coast233154
Stats at a GlanceFGCUMUM
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)
Offensive Rebounds913
Defensive Rebounds2323
Total Rebounds3236
Bench Points2424
Statistical LeadersFGCUMUM
PointsTHOMPSON - 13
CECIL - 24
ReboundsHOLMES - 5
AssistsCOMER - 2
HALL - 9
StealsVARIDEL - 3
HALL - 3
BlocksMURRAY - 2

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).