Jan. 2, 2003
MACON, Ga. - The Mercer Bears fell to the visiting California Bears 69-60 on Thursday night at Porter Gym. Mercer falls to 0-9 on the season while Cal improves to 5-5.
Mercer held the PAC-10 team without a field goal until 10:56 in the first-half and held a 7-1 lead until Cal went on a 6-0 run to bring the game to a standstill. Mercer would lead by as many as five points when junior Lee Lee Cannon knocked down a jumper with 0:34 remaining in the first, but Cal would then score five unanswered points including a last second 3-pointer by Lexie Helgerson for the halftime score of 27-27.
Cal jumped out on an 8-2 run to begin the second-half and held command of the game until 13:38 when Cannon's defensive pressure caused LaTasha O'Keith to turn the ball over and Cannon had an easy lay-up to cut the score to 40-37. Then Cal took over the game for good with a 13-0 run including nine points by O'Keith.
Mercer was led by Jo Jo Carter who had a game-high 14 points in 29 minutes. Carter of Lake Park, Ga. was 4-of-8 from the field and 5-of-7 from the charity stripe. Also for the Bears, Cannon of Sautee, Ga., had 12 points and tied a season-high with four steals. Senior April Dyer had a team-high eight rebounds despite being in foul trouble from the start.
Despite the early shooting woes, Cal shot 41.1% for the game after shooting a sizzling 61.9% in the second-half. The Bears shot 40.0% for the first time this season as they were 22-of-55 from the field. Cal held a 47-30 edge on the boards.