#1 Mercer and #2 FGCU Square Off for #ASunMBB Title

Saturday, March 09, 2013

MACON, Ga. - Mercer and FGCU earn the Atlantic Sun spotlight on Saturday at noon as the two teams face off on ESPN2 in the finals of the 2013 General Shale Atlantic Sun Men's Basketball Championship. The top-seeded Bears and No. 2 FGCU split the regular-season meetings and also met in last year's semifinal with the Eagles earning a 62-58 victory.

No. 1 Mercer vs. No. 2 FGCU - Noon EST - ESPN2

  • Mercer’s home winning streak is now at 17 games as the Bears are 15-0 at home this season after claiming two home victories in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament last season. The Bears are tied for sixth best in the nation.
  • FGCU is the first runner-up from the previous season to return to the title game the following year since Jacksonville in 2009.
  • The No. 1 seed has won three of the last five conference championships and the last two titles.
  • The Eagles’ 23 wins is a Division I program record; surpassing last year’s win total of 15, which was the previous record. FGCU’s win improvement of eight from the previous season is tied for 28th-best in A-Sun history.
  • The Bears are trying to become the first host squad to win the A-Sun Championship since Georgia State in 2001.
  • Bernard Thompson, the A-Sun Defensive Player of the Year, has 95 steals this season, which is tied for the third-best single-season mark in A-Sun history. He needs two more to tie for second. Thompson’s 2.7 steals per game is the best in the conference.
  • Mercer’s Langston Hall reached 1,000 career points in the win vs. USC Upstate. Hall now has 1,010 career points, which is tied for 139th all-time in A-Sun history. He is the 146th player in A-Sun history to hit the mark.
  • Brett Comer’s 208 assists this season is the eighth-best in conference history. He needs five more to tie for seventh-best. His 6.5 assists per game average is tied for best in the A-Sun.
  • The last time a No. 1 seed defeated No. 2 seed in the championship final was 2008 with No. 1 Belmont taking down No. 2 Jacksonville, 79-61.
  • The meeting between the 1 and 2 seeds marks the first since 2009 when No. 2 seeded ETSU defeated No. 1 Jacksonville, 85-68.
  • Mercer has appeared in seven A-Sun Championship Finals, which is tied for the conference record. The Bears own a 2-4 record in title games with the previous victories coming in 1981 and 1985.
  • The last Florida member institution to claim the Men’s A-Sun Championship title was UCF in 2005. Teams from Tennessee have captured the previous seven crowns - (ETSU; 2009 and 2010) / (Belmont; 2006-08, 2011-12).
  • The last time a team from the state of Georgia won the A-Sun title was 2001 with Georgia State.
  • Thompson, the A-Sun Defensive Player of the Year, picked up his second double-digit rebound performance of the year with 13 boards to set a new career-best vs. Stetson. He added 12 points for the third double-double of his career.
  • With a win vs. FGCU, the Bears will own the most home victories in the A-Sun over the past five seasons. Currently, the Bears are tied with last year’s Mercer team and this year’s FGCU team, who went 15-1 at home.
  • The 14-point win for FGCU vs. Stetson is the largest in championship history for FGCU as the Eagles improved their record to 4-1 in their two championship appearances.
  • Mercer hit 14 three pointers vs. USC Upstate, which was only three away from tying the A-Sun Championship record of 17 set by Stetson in 1994.
  • Two seeds have won five of the last nine A-Sun Championship titles and seven overall. The last five titles came in 2004-07 and 2009.
  • The Bears’ 34-point victory vs. Lipscomb (82-48) in the A-Sun Championship Quarterfinals was the largest in program history as Langston Hall led the team in scoring with 12. Hall also dished out 10 assists in the victory for Mercer.
  • FGCU’s Sherwood Brown, the A-Sun Player of the Year, averages 16.1 PPG and 7.3 RPG. Brown has four double-doubles this season and seven 20+ point games. He had 18 points in the semifinal win vs. Stetson.
  • Mercer owns the top defense in the A-Sun as the Bears allow only 57.3 PPG, which currently ranks as the third-lowest total in conference history. In conference play, the Bears allow 59.2 PPG - tied with Northern Kentucky for the best mark.
  • Second Team All-Conference member, Chase Fieler owns the third-best field goal percentage in the conference this season at .563. Fieler averages 12.1 PPG.
  • The Bears defeated FGCU in the previous meeting in Hawkins Arena on Jan. 2 in overtime, 77-70. Travis Smith posted a team-high 21 points.
  • FGCU Head Coach Andy Enfield is searching for his first A-Sun title in only his second year with the Eagles.
  • In the Bears’ loss at FGCU, Travis Smith and Daniel Coursey both scored 14.

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