Sears Scores 23 In Bulldogs Loss At Mercer

Justin Sears (
Justin Sears (

Duren Adds 13 Points

MACON, Ga. – Mercer is a team to watch as the college basketball season unfolds. Yale will certainly vouch for the Bears.

Langston Hall scored 15 points to lead five players in double figures as Mercer rolled to an 81-54 victory over the Bulldogs before a homecoming crowd of 3,500.

Justin Sears paced Yale with 23 points. He was 9-of-18 from the field and added eight rebounds in 32 minutes. Javier Duren was the only other Bulldog in double figures, scoring 13 points.

The Bears, who won the Atlantic Sun regular season title before falling to NCAA Cinderella Florida Gulf Coast in the conference tournament a year ago, appear poised to do some damage come March this year.

Mercer (4-2) shot 54.7 percent (29-of-53) from the field, 52.2 percent from three-point range (12-of-23) and outrebounded Yale 37-25 en route to their 34th victory in their last 38 games at Hawkins Arena.

The Bears seized control from the start, racing to a 10-3 lead three minutes in. The Bulldogs (2-3) pulled within 14-11 on a Sears layup midway through the first half, but Mercer answered with a 10-2 run.

The lead grew to 13, 41-28, at halftime when Bud Thomas hit a long three-pointer as time expired.

Yale got within 12 early in the second half but could get no closer.

Hall finished 6-of-11 from the field and added 10 assists for Mercer. Jibri Bryan was 4-of-6 from the field, including 3-of-4 on three-pointers, to finish with 11 points. Thomas, Jakob Gollon and Ike Nwamu all scored 10 points.

NOTES: Mercer's bench outscored Yale's reserves 37-9… Freshman Anthony Dallier made his first career start for the Bulldogs… Freshman Sam Downey scored four points in six minutes off the bench for Yale… The Bulldogs were just 2-of-12 from three point range… Duren had four assists and matched his career high with four steals… The Bulldogs are back in action on Tuesday when travel to Lafayette. The opening tip is slated for 7 p.m.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity