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Women's Basketball Prepares for Showdown with Georgia State
February 4, 2004

(478) 301-2735

MACON, Ga.-  The Mercer women's basketball team will host Georgia State Wednesday evening in a match-up of the top two teams in the Atlantic Sun Conference. 

Georgia State (12-5, 9-1 A-Sun) comes into the contest leading the league standings by two full games.  Their lone loss came at the hands of Lipscomb, who is tied with Mercer in second place in the conference. 

The Lady Panthers are led by the A-Sun's leading scorer, Patechia Hartman, who is averaging 18.2 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.7 assists per contest.  Hartman has already been named A-Sun "Player of the Week" four times and is a lock to make the league's all-conference team.

Mercer (9-8, 7-3 A-Sun) has won two in a row and three of their last four games as their home-court advantage has carried over from Porter Gym to the new University Center.  The Bears will look to continue their home-court dominance, as they have won 13 of their last 16 home games and 11 of their last 13 home A-Sun contests.  

The two teams have already met once this season, with Georgia State prevailing in that contest, 63-56.   The Bears battled back from a seven-point halftime deficit to tie the game early in the second half, but couldn't close the deal, as Georgia State went on a 7-1 run to ice the game in the final four minutes.

"I think that we have definitely grown a lot as a team since the last time we played them," said Mercer head coach Brenda Welch-Nichols.  "With six freshmen on our roster, we were very young and probably weren't ready for that kind of game.  But now we've got a lot more experience under our belts and we're really looking forward to this game to show what we can do."

Mercer's last contest was a defensive battle with Troy State, one that the Bears took 43-40.  In that game, sophomore Tanya Kessenich led all scorers with 14 points, nine rebounds and three blocks, while the Bears shot only 32% from the floor, including 1-for-13 from beyond the arc. 

The game will be the second women's contest to be held at the University Center.  Tickets are still available for $8 and can be bought at the game or by calling the Mercer ticket office at (478) 301-5470.